delphij's Chaos


03 Mar 2007

Steve Jobs在2005斯坦福毕业典礼上的演讲

感谢 neo 同学发来的 录音

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.“求知若饥,虚心若愚

2 June 2005, Palo Alto, CA

Thank you.

I’m honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college, and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife – except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, “We’ve got an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said, “Of course.” My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college. This was the start in my life.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it
out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.

So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned coke bottles for the five cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the “Mac” would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever – because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz1 and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We’d just released our finest creation – the Macintosh – a year earlier, and I had just turned 30.

And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me: I still loved what I did. The
turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometime life – Sometimes life going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.

And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking – and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking – don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for “prepare to die.” It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die.

Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It’s Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the “bibles” of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 60s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I’ve always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.




我在里德学院(Reed college)待了六个月就办休学了。到我退学前,一共休学了十八个月。那么,我为什么休学?



十七年后,我上大学了。但是当时我无知选了一所学费几乎跟史丹佛一样贵的大学,我那工人阶级的父母所有积蓄都花在我的学费上。六个月后,我看不出念这个书的价值何在。那时候,我不知道这辈子要干什么,也不知道念大学能对我有什么帮助,而且我为了念这个书, 花光了我父母这辈子的所有积蓄。

所以我决定休学,相信船到桥头自然直。当时这个决定看来相当可怕,可是现在看来,那是我这辈子做过最好的决定之一。当我休 学之后,我再也不用上我没兴趣的必修课,把时间拿去听那些我有兴趣的课。

这一点也不浪漫。我没有宿舍,所以我睡在友人家里的地板上,靠着回收可乐空罐的五 先令退费买吃的,每个星期天晚上得走七哩的路绕过大半个镇去印度教的Hare Krishna 神庙吃顿好料。我喜欢Hare Krishna神庙的好料。追寻我的好奇与直觉,我所驻足的大部分事物,后来看来都成了无价之宝。 举例来说:

当时里德学院有着大概是全国最好的书法指导。在整个校园内的每一张海报上,每个抽屉的标签上,都是美丽的手写字。因为我休学了,可以不照正常选课程序来,所以我跑去学书法。我学了serif 与san serif 字体,学到在不同字母组合间变更字间距,学到活版印刷伟大的地方。书法的美好、历史感与艺术感是科学所无法捕捉的,我觉得那很迷人。




我好运-年轻时就发现自己爱做什么事。我二十岁时,跟Steve Wozniak在我爸妈的车库里开始了苹果计算机的事业。我们拼命工作,苹果计算机在十年间从一间车库里的两个小伙子扩展成了一家员工超过四千人、市价二十亿 美金的公司,在那之前一年推出了我们最棒的作品-麦金塔,而我才刚迈入人生的第三十个年头,然后被炒鱿鱼。


好吧,当苹果计算机成长后,我请了一个我以为他在经营公司上很有才干的家伙来,他在头几年也确实干得不错。可是我们对未来的愿景不同,最后只好分道扬镳,董事会站在他那边,炒了我鱿鱼,公开把我请了出去。曾经是我整个成年生活重心的东西不见了,令我不知所措。有几个月,我实在不知道要干什么好。我觉得我令企业界的前辈们失望-我把他们交给我的接力棒弄丢了。我见了创办HP的David Packard跟创办Intel 的Bob Noyce,跟他们说我很抱歉把事情搞砸得很厉害了。我成了公众的非常负面示范,我甚至想要离开硅谷。但是渐渐的,我发现,我还是喜爱着我做过的事情,在苹果的日子经历的事件没有丝毫改变我爱做的事。我被否定了,可是我还是爱做那些事情,所以我决定从头来过。

当时我没发现,但是现在看来,被苹果计算机开除,是我所经历过最好的事情。成功的沉重被从头来过的轻松所取代,每件事情都不那么确定,让我自由进入这辈子最 有创意的年代。接下来五年,我开了一家叫做 NeXT的公司,又开一家叫做Pixar的公司,也跟后来的老婆谈起了恋爱。Pixar接着制作了世界上第一部全计算机动画电影,玩具总动员,现在是世界上 最成功的动画制作公司。然后,苹果计算机买下了NeXT,我回到了苹果,我们在NeXT发展的技术成了苹果计算机后来复兴的核心。我也有了个美妙的家庭。我很确定,如果当年苹果计算机没开除我,就不会发生这些事情。这帖药很苦口,可是我想苹果计算机这个病人需要这帖药。有时候,人生会用砖头打你的头。不要丧失 信心。我确信,我爱我所做的事情,这就是这些年来让我继续走下去的唯一理由。你得找出你爱的,工作上是如此,对情人也是如此。









在我年轻时,有本神奇的杂志叫做 Whole Earth Catalog,当年我们很迷这本杂志。那是一位住在离这不远的Menlo Park的Stewart Brand发行的,他把杂志办得很有诗意。那是1960年代末期,个人计算机跟桌上出版还没发明,所有内容都是打字机、剪刀跟拍立得相机做出来的。杂志内容有点像印在纸上的Google,在Google出现之前35年就有了:理想化,充满新奇工具与神奇的注记。

Stewart跟他的出版团队出了好几 期Whole Earth Catalog,然后出了停刊号。当时是1970年代中期,我正是你们现在这个年龄的时候。在停刊号的封底,有张早晨乡间小路的照片,那种你去爬山时会经过的乡间小路。在照片下有行小字:求知若饥,虚心若愚。那是他们亲笔写下的告别讯息,我总是以此自许。当你们毕业,展开新生活,我也以此期许你们。



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三张 from delphij’s Chaos on June 29, 2012 1:02 AM

时间过得真是太快了。最近这段时间, 乔帮主 2005 年 Stanford 毕业典礼演讲 里说的那段话一直让我觉得有如芒刺在背: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of… Read More