Steve Jobs’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco. Steve was put up for adoption at birth, and was adopted and raised by Paul and Clara Jobs. He grew up in California and befriended many engineer neighbors. When he was 13 years old, he was given a summer job working on a Hewlett-Packard assembly line which he described as if he was ‘in heaven.’ He was an electronics hobbyist who met fellow hobbyist Steve Wozniack. They eventually would be the co-founders of Apple.

In 1977, at age 22, Steve Jobs introduced the Apple II. Apple Computer started becoming successful as among the first to mass produce microcomputers. At 23, Steve was estimated to be worth one million dollars. At age 24, he was worth $10 million, and at 25 was worth $100 million. He resigned briefly from Apple, but later came back and resumed CEO position. In between the departure and his comeback, he started NeXT Computers, which Apple bought. He also invested in Pixar, which was then purchased by Disney, and made Steve as the largest single shareholder of the company.

The 10 Rules For Success

Steve Jobs died from a relapse of pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011. He was a major influence especially in the Technology world because of the inspirational designs, concepts and products from his companies. Steve was considered a visionary during his time and even beyond. In this YouTube video from Evan Carmichael, we look at 10 of his so-called rules that made him a success.

1. Don’t Live a Limited Life

Jobs believed that life, as we call it, was made up by people. That simply means that anyone can change it and influence it. People do not have to accept things as they are, because they can definitely do something about it. For instance, people can build products that can change life for the better. Thus, anyone can improve it and make their mark upon it.

2. Have Passion

He agrees that people should have a lot of passion to be successful in what they do. To not have enough of it can simply make a rational person give up. Working at great things is really, really hard, and unless a person loves what he does, giving up would be the logical thing to do. Looking at history, he believed that the people who succeeded were the ones who loved what they did so that they persevered, especially when things got very difficult.

3. Design for Yourself

Jobs and Wozniack designed their first computer for themselves for several reasons. One reason was that they cannot afford to buy a computer kit for themselves at that time. After showing their creation to their friends, other people also wanted it. The idea came to them that they were onto something, and that began their computer business.

4. Don’t Sell Crap

In one interview, Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike, recalled a conversation that he had with Steve Jobs. Jobs considered Nike as one of the top brands in the world. During one Nike-Apple collaboration, Jobs congratulated Parker for a job well done. Parker asked him if he has any advice. After a pause, Jobs told him that Nike sells some of the best products, but that they also sell not-so-good or crappy products, so they should just focus on the good stuff. At first, Parker thought that Jobs was joking. But when he realized that Jobs was serious, he thought about it, and he realized that Jobs was right.

5. Build a Great Team

He believed that the greatest teams are self managing. When teams know what to do, he believed that they will manage themselves. What they need, according to him, was a common vision. And when people are able to assemble 10 great members as their core group, they will be able to look out for themselves who they think would be an asset that should be added to their group. Essentially, Steve believed that one of his most important job was recruiting.

6. Don’t Do It for the Money

Steve Jobs believed that money is an enabler, allowing people to invest in things that may not have a short-term payback. However, at the point when he was estimated to be worth over a hundred million dollars, money was not the most important thing for him. He considered the company, the people, the products, and the potential of what customers can do with their product as the most important thing. He did not sell any stock, because his faith was in the company.

7. Be Proud of Your Products

He stated that their goal in Apple was to build products that they can be proud of, products that they can recommend to their family and friends. He explained that if compromising would mean a lower price, but in return, they would not be proud to recommend a product, then he simply would not do it. There are thresholds that they will not cross if that means shipping a product of lower quality.

8. Build Around Customers

Steve Jobs believed that a great product start with the customer experience going back to the technology, and not the other way around. For him, it did not make sense to start with the technology, to only talk with the engineers, and then figure out how to sell a product. In creating Apple’s strategy and vision, he always started with what benefit can they give to the customer. Having an awesome technology was just a tool.

9. Marketing Is About Values

He believed even the best brands need caring and investing. But the best companies do not necessarily talk about their products. He cited Nike, who does not talk about its air soles or why its better than Reebok. Instead, its commercials honor athletes and athletics. Therefore, marketing Apple is to know what it is that the company stand for. Although Apple creates great computers for people to get their job done, its core value is really that people with passion can change the world for the better.

10. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

In his commencement address at Stanford University, he advised the graduates the message of a certain publication he used to read. He told the youth to remain idealistic, to be equipped with neat tools, and be full of great notions. When he was younger, he wished for himself to stay hungry – for knowledge, for adventure, for great things; and to stay foolish – to be positive, passionate, persevering. And this is the same advice he gave the graduates.


Steve Jobs, aside from being successful, was also considered controversial. But people who stood up strongly for their ideas usually are. Successful people challenge the status quo, the norms of their times, because they hope for something better, and they believe they can do something to make it better. We hope that we can learn something from these 10 rules, and start changing things in our lives for the better.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.