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Jobs —  | Birds | Knuth ]
Jobs to earn much money with? Jobs says:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living other people’s life.
Jobs’s address even closed with
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
— so you might even earn so little that you almost starve, which may drive you crazy — not quite a bad idea!

The first quote with more context:

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.


The quotes are from Steve Jobs’s Commencement address at Stanford University, delivered June 12, 2005.

The second quote, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” however, according to Jobs, was a “farewell message” from the (almost) final issue of The Whole Earth Catalog.

The words ‘your time is limited’ may have been motivated by Jobs’s report of his earlier cancer diagnosis (he was lucky to survive — I once wrote, until 2011-10-05, farewell!). On the other hand, the Wikiquote extract (cf. below) of Jobs’s address indicates that he, already from an age of 17 years onwards, motivated himself each day by thinking of death — asking himself:

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 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.


The complete text of the speech indeed is available from various web sites: You even can watch the entire address at


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Birds instead of Jobs

Do we really need Jobs to become happy? What about Birds instead:

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Knuth instead of Jobs

Jobs to earn much money with? Knuth remembers:
Then a startup company came to me and said,
“Don, write compilers for us and we will take care of finding computers to debug them.
Name your price.”
I said, “Oh, okay, $100,000,” assuming that this was [outrageous].
The guy didn’t blink. He agreed. I didn’t blink either. I said,
“I’m not going to do it. I just thought that was an impossible number.”
At that point I made the decision in my life that I wasn’t going to optimize my income.
— quoted from Knuth’s ACM interview, http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1364782.1364794.
Donald Knuth created TeX which I am abusing here for generating these HTML pages.

Last generated 2011-10-12 © Uwe Lück

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