Steve Jobs said “Technology Is Nothing”

Steve Jobs Said ‘Technology Is Nothing.’ Here’s What He Actually Thought Will Lead to Your Success Years after being ousted from Apple, Steve Jobs began to demonstrate what separated the best of leaders from the pack.



Since the passing of Steve Jobs in 2011, his legacy as co-founder of Apple has lived on through countless and invaluable lessons about achieving success.



One of those lessons came years after he was forced out of Apple (and before his return in 1997). As the head of the short-lived NeXT Computer, Jobs was asked whether he still believed in the limitless potential of technology, at a time when the personal computing industry was on the decline.



Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart – and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. Tools are just tools. They either work or they don’t work.



Put another way, Jobs believed that in order to achieve great success and create revolutionary changes in the world, we must learn to prioritize the intersection of technology and the humanities, because that’s how the best ideas emerge.



Jobs took this philosophy seriously. When he rejoined Apple, he had become a far better leader who believed in the power of the people entrusted with making great things.



According to Walter Isaacson’s biography “Steve Jobs,” his goal was to build an enduring company that prioritized people. Everything else – products and profits – while still necessary, would be secondary.



‘What’s important is that you have faith in people’


Jobs’ “faith in people” philosophy was put into practice and showed up in several ways, including hiring the right people and then trusting them to perform.



Smart innovators and visionaries at the highest levels of leadership understand, as Jobs did, that they can’t possibly know everything; they bring in knowledge workers who are experts to help them plan their next move.



As Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”



Jobs’ version of “having faith in people” might not be considered the norm, even by today’s more welcoming people and work culture standards.



But, as proven by Apple’s immense success upon his return, Jobs had an uncanny ability to be inspirational to the point where his closest network of designers and engineers would have run through walls for him.



He knew how to “infuse Apple employees with an abiding passion to create groundbreaking products and a belief that they could accomplish what seemed impossible,” according to Isaacson’s biography.



The author recalled Jobs once telling him: “I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people, you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.”



One last noteworthy strategy I’ll close with was his belief in face-to-face conversations.



In the new remote work age dominated by Slack, Zoom, texting and email, virtually all communication is done digitally. But Jobs believed in the power of in-person conversations and always preferred face-to-face meetings.



“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat,” he told Isaacson. “That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”



Even during his tenure at Pixar, Jobs made sure the building he purchased was specially designed to get people out of their offices and to interact with others.



He wanted it to be a work environment where people ran into each other, talked to each other and came up with the most innovative ideas together.




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