The Late Movie: Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address

Jason English

My sister Karen was a member of Stanford's Class of 2005, so I was in the stands with my family for Steve Jobs' famous commencement address. (Days later, my grandma bought an iMac.) My most vivid memory from the speech was the person behind me complaining about it. "I wanted a 'spread your wings and fly' message," he said. "That was totally inappropriate."

To me, this was kind of spread-your-wings-y:

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Whether you like the speech or not, excerpts from it — specifically the "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose" part — are all over TV and the internet tonight. If you've got 15 minutes and haven't seen the speech before, I'm sure you'll get something out of it.

(If you'd rather read it instead, here's the transcript.)