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11 prophetic Steve Jobs predictions

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Steve Jobs is widely considered one of the greatest corporate leaders in recent history — a view we are seeing in full force this week, now that he has stepped down as Apple’s chief executive. Under his leadership, Apple grew to become the most valuable technology company in the world, delivering products that ushered in a new age of consumer technology, one in which we are constantly connected and endlessly entertained. It is because of his transformational leadership that he is so often labeled a genius. But it is also because of his skills as an orator, his radical ideas and his genuine wisdom about the future of technology that he remains so esteemed. Here, 11 of the most prophetic predictions Jobs has made over his long career.

On the Internet:

“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.”  — Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985

On what people want:

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” — BusinessWeek, May 12 1998

On the iTunes Music Store:

“It will go down in history as a turning point for the music industry. This is landmark stuff. I can’t overestimate it!” — Fortune, May 12, 2003

On the iPhone:

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. … One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate it’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world.” — WWDC keynote introducing the original iPhone, Jan. 9, 2007

On the death of the PC:

- “The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it’s going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade.” — Wired, February 1996

On revitalizing Apple’s business:

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”  — Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer Inc., May 1999

On Pixar:

“I think Pixar has the opportunity to be the next Disney — not replace Disney — but be the next Disney.” — BusinessWeek, May 12 1998

On Toy Story:

“We believe it’s the biggest advance in animation since Walt Disney started it all with the release of Snow White 50 years ago.” — Fortune, September 18, 1995

On cloud computing:

“The desktop metaphor was invented because one, you were a stand-alone device, and two, you had to manage your own storage. That’s a very big thing in a desktop world. And that may go away. You may not have to manage your own storage. You may not store much before too long.”  — Wired, February 1996

On innovation:

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” — Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

On endurance:

“I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back. — Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985

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