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My mother taught me to read before I went to school, so I was pretty bored in school, and I turned into a little terror. You should have seen us in third grade. We basically destroyed our teacher. We would let snakes loose in the classroom and explode bombs. Things changed in the fourth grade, though. One of the saints in my life is this woman named Imogene Hill, who was a fourth-grade teacher who taught this advanced class. She got hip to my whole situation in about a month and kindled a passion in me for learning things. I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school.

Steve Jobs, 1985

People say sometimes, ‘You work in the fastest-moving industry in the world.’ I don’t feel that way. I think I work in one of the slowest. It seems to take forever to get anything done. All of the graphical-user interface stuff that we did with the Macintosh was pioneered at Xerox PARC and with Doug Engelbart at SRI in the mid-’70s. And here we are, just about the mid-’90s, and it’s kind of commonplace now. But it’s about a 10-to-20-year lag. That’s a long time.

Steve Jobs, 1994

Well, I don’t know what this Valley is. I work at Apple. I’m there so many hours a day and I don’t visit other places; I’m not an expert on Silicon Valley. What I do see is a small group of people who are artists and care more about their art than they do about almost anything else. It’s more important than finding a girlfriend, it’s more important than cooking a meal, it’s more important than joining the Marines, it’s more important than whatever. Look at the way artists work. They’re not typically the most ‘balanced’ people in the world. Now, yes, we have a few workaholics here who are trying to escape other things, of course. But the majority of people out here have made very conscious decisions; they really have.

Steve Jobs, 1984

When I got started I was 20 or 21, and my role models were the semiconductor guys like Robert Noyce and Andy Grove of Intel, and of course Bill Hewlett and David Packard. They were out not so much to make money as to change the world and to build companies that could keep growing and changing. They left incredible legacies. The rewarding thing isn’t merely to start a company or to take it public. It’s like when you’re a parent. Although the birth experience is a miracle, what’s truly rewarding is living with your child and helping him grow up.

Steve Jobs, 2000

The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products. I am saddened, not by Microsoft’s success, I have no problem with their success. They’ve earned their success, for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products.

Steve Jobs, 1995

The reason I went back to Apple is that I feel like the world would be a better place with Apple in it than not. And it’s hard to imagine the world without Apple now.

Steve Jobs, 2000