Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead. Headline news on Radio 4 as I woke up this morning. It feels deep. This is not because of the loss of a technology genius – hell, we all know Apple wouldn’t exist without Woz, the Mac was really Jeff Raskin, Pixar was really Jeff Lasseter etc. Its not just that he was an amazing business visionary – as Jonathan Fay tweeted this morning, “Steve Jobs championed design, pushed the limits of his people, and believed in dreams long enough to see them become reality.”

No. Its the story, the arc of a life lived in public that we all shared – the kid in the garage, the billion dollar success, the casting out into the darkness, the crossing of the Rubicon back into Rome as victor, the battle against cancer. Orbiting Frog quoted from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford. “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.”

I hadn’t seen this clip before. Its fifteen minutes but well worth a look. He tells Stanford students that the best thing he ever did was to drop out of college, and the second best thing was to get fired and re-think life. And then he tells these bright young things, on a sunny day, at the start of their adventure in Life, that the really important thing is to remember that you will die. He also recalls the Whole Earth Catalog (remember that ?). On the back cover of the final edition it had a picture of a country road, and the words “Stay Young, Stay Foolish”.

If you want a  lighter  Steve moment,  try this.  As ever, timing is all.

Youth, Energy, and Riches

September 17, 2008

Its student orientation week at Stanford. The streets are lined with map-wielding parents and students waving banners that say “Welcome to Stanny !!” and such-like. The arrival of students seems to have increased the black population of Palo Alto greatly (from zilch to a weeny bit) which is an interesting and pleasant surprise. The Stanford Daily has re-started, and I picked this up on the way to grab some coffee. First article right up there at the top was about two Senators trying to investigate how much money Rich Universities really have and whether they should be spending rather than hoarding.

It seems that Stanford’s endowments total $17.2 billion.

I came over all queasy.

I think that’s even bigger than Harvard’s pot full of filthy lucre  ?

Oh, so … what would you do with $17.2 billion dollars ????