In the address given by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, at the 114th Commencement of Stanford University on June 12, 2005, he introduced his speech by saying he wanted to tell three stories.
His intention was to share knowledge that he’s accumulated over the years with the new graduates but instead of the usual lecture or inspirational speech, he chose a delivery method that inspired his listeners.
The first was a story about dropping out of college so that he didn’t spend all of his working class families money and how he hung around the college taking classes anyway, eating at the Hari Krishna center on Sunday’s and sleeping on dorm floors. Because he was a drop out he didn’t have to take prescribed classes so he took a calligraphy class for the joy of it, not knowing how it would fit into his eclectic eduction. When constructing the Mackintosh this skill and interest was used to develop beautiful computer typography.
The second was a story about being fired when he was 30 years old from his own company, Apple, and how it freed him to have the most creative period of his life. He started 2 new companies including Pixar and got married and had a baby. He’s convinced he wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t been fired.
The third story was about death. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and went home to die. After some tests it was revealed that his type of cancer was curable and he had the surgery and is now well. But remembering he could be dead at any time has helped him to follow his heart in every decision he has made.
In conclusion he told that ”Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” came from the back page of the final Whole Earth Catalog. His last story was how he adopted that phrase as his motto in the 70s and still lives by it.