Startup Founders Share Their Favorite Steve Jobs Quotes

October 16, 2014

9:00 am

Today we are celebrating the legendary and visionary co-founder Steve Jobs. In California, Governor Brown dubbed October 16th as Steve Jobs Day back in 2011. In the spirit of celebration, Tech Cocktail asked startup founders and entrepreneurs to share their favorite Steve Jobs quotes.


Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently –they're not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. 

Our company's name is C1 Revolution, an integrated communications company. The C1 stands for the crazy ones from this quote.  Amanda W. Morris, Founder of C1 Revolution.


Last September, I landed myself into one of the coveted spots on ABC's Shark Tank. When I proclaimed I was going to change the population with my reverse-engineered online dating business, serial entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, rolled his eyes, called me delusional and immediately snapped, “I’m out.” Finally, after getting shot down by all five Sharks, I looked them in the eye and said, “Trust that you’ll all see me again…After nearly 6 years of building my dream, I’m in the midst of a major pivot that I know will ultimately turn the world of online dating on its head… Call me “crazy,” but it might just change the world. Lori Cheek, Founder of

We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?

To me that quote recognizes that we all are on this planet a short time and to make your time count. It is up to every individual to make their mark in the universe and in doing so bring meaning to their existence…and the universe. Sandra Powers, Founder,

 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 have 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. 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 is 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 is 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.  Kevin Cahill, CEO of CLB Staked.


Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.

When I first got interested in the tech world I was in awe of so many people. I still look up to many impressive and talented people, but the more I get to know them, the more I realize they are just like me. I can achieve the same level of success that they have. Zarin Ficklin, Co-Founder of HQ.

Also shared by Sahil Lavingia, Founder & CEO of Gumroad

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.

shared by Brad Hines, Founder of

How does somebody know what they want if they haven’t even seen it?

This quote inspired me to create because I wanted a super fast and affordable way to digitize my pictures. Invent it and they will come led to us digitizing one-quarter billion pictures. Mitch Goldstone, Founder of ScanMyPhotos.



Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

shared by Fernando Campos, Cofounder of Topwick

One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it.

I love this one by Steve because it truly focuses on the nature of the customer experience. David Hernandez is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at lotus823.

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 other's 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.

shared by Jeff Brokaw, founder of Appvested.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

shared by Keely Grigel, Founder of Tech Group Meetup

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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Through it all, I remembered the Steve Jobs’ quote (above) about connecting the dots later and knowing they will connect. That gave me a certain level of freedom to start over after an unsuccessful meeting, to persevere, and have faith to follow my dreams because he was right, they turn into the dots! Michael Melfi, Founder of Funderbuilt.


Throughout my career, I have made 2 key turning points – from accountant to marketing professional, and from marketer (Brand Manager of Angry Birds) to entrepreneur. At the initial stage of each shift, I always suspect whether I've made the right move, because of starting afresh from ground zero is never easy when you have already reached a certain level of professional achievement. There's even time when you hear criticism from those nearest to you. It was Steve Job's quote on connecting the dots that helped me to regain faith, listen to myself and trust that the change will make a positive outcome in life in future. Suzanne So, Founder of Joy Sprout.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the new mini iPod in San Francisco in 2004

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

shared by Jonathan Pirc, Founder of Lab42.

There's a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.

shared by Bryan Mattimore, Cofounder and Chief Idea Guy of Growth Engine.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Many people think that design just means “being pretty”. We tell our stakeholders that an ugly car that runs (e.g., Craigslist) will always sell better than a pretty car up on blocks. Kim Ramirez, Co-founder of Sixty Vocab.





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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.