Steve Jobs’s 10 Best Quotes for Advertising Agencies

Steve Jobs Advertising Agencies New Business Quotes

Steve Job’s serves as an example of doing agency new business the right way.

Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple.  When it comes to presenting and salesmanship, there’s no one better.

His tenure as CEO should serve as inspiration for advertising agencies that seem to still be in a state of flux in this technology driven communication’s revolution.

Below are some of the best Steve Jobs’s quotes to inspire us to think differently and  up our game through innovation, collaboration: 

  1. “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
  2. “For something this complicated, 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.” Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Wired
  4. “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” BusinessWeek
  5. “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.” CNNMoney
  6. “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” Newsweek
  7. “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” Fortune
  8. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” Wall Street Journal
  9. “You’re missing it. This is not a one-man show. What’s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there’s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they’re not losers. What they didn’t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.” Businessweek
  10. The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient … But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”  Businessweek 

Additional Steve Job articles that may be of interest:

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex…” I like #6 because solutions truly take some time. It’s really easy to proclaim “Eureka!” and just jump in, but inevitably you stir up even more problems. It’s difficult, (but worth the time and patience) to stay with that unruly and messy thing — and that includes talking to many more people about it — until the essence of the problem is distilled. Sometimes the core of the problem will surprise you. But then you can tackle it.

  2. Thanks for your insights Jen.

  3. We don’t create, we connect. I’m an associate Creative Director, and that statement truly resonates.

  4. Thanks for sharing Mark. I’ve kept going back and reviewing these all week and pick up inspiration each time.

  5. Greg Smith says:

    Thanks for posting. Great stuff and all true

  6. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t use to an environment where excellence is expected.” –Steve Jobs

  7. “focused” means that on thing is very clear and others are not seen or “out of focus” and that’s ok. i think that’s the hardest thing we do every day–getting our clients to be ok with what is not in focus. it’s scary to leave something out, to ignore a product benefit or attribute. but without focus it’s all a blur and nothing is remembered though all is “seen.” but steve jobs (and apple) managed to get it right. focus and simplicity. even the thought is focused and simple! thanks for the reminder.

  8. of course i mean “one thing” and not “on thing.

  9. mousumi majumder says:

    dear sir , can i contact with you regarding AD code…i found new way to thinking through this way..with best regards
    mousumi majumder


  1. […] Below are some of the best Steve Jobs quotes about creativity, focus and innovation from Michael Gass at Fuel Lines. […]

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