Steve Jobs has been pronounced by many as the Thomas Edison of our generation.  Time will tell on that one, but I still use my light bulbs more than my iPad so I am giving the nod to Edison there.

Upon his recent passing, there are tribute articles everywhere listing his numerous accomplishments and praising him as a human being and visionary.  This is not one of those articles.

Yes…Steve Jobs was an amazing visionary.

Yes…Steve Jobs was a powerful leader.

Yes…Steve Jobs invented the mouse.

Yes…Steve Jobs was a huge failure

That’s right, you read it right.

What sets Steve Jobs apart from so many is not that he failed, but that he failed on a large scale, and came back stronger.  Steve Jobs went big, or he went home.

In today’s world were everyone coddles the youth, and tries to insulate everyone from failure and losing, Steve Jobs successes should serve as an eye opener to parents and leaders all over our once great country.


Seek it out, embrace failure.  Failure is not what will define you, it is how you respond to that failure that will determine who you are and what you become.

Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after one semester.

  • He then slept on friends floors and snuck into classes that interested him.  Jobs later said, “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

Steve Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985, the company that he started.

  • They came crawling back in 1996, sort of the same time Apple started to become relevant again

Steve Jobs pumped millions of dollars into NeXT, have you ever heard of NeXT?

  • NeXT was a hardware company Jobs started to build computers for the higher education and business markets.  The cost of the machines never fit into budgets and the company only sold 50,000 units total.  Jobs swiftly switched the focus of the company to software development and pioneered technologies such as OPENSTEP and WebObjects.  He eventually sold the company to Apple for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple Stock.

Steve Jobs and failure do belong in the same sentence.  It was from his failures that he learned to be great.  It was fear of those failures that drove him to be great.

Steve Jobs was a great visionary and innovator…his failures and the way he embraced them had as much to do with that as anything.