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Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

The news that Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO today, however one prepared for the inevitable, still came as a swift punch in the stomach. Especially coming on the heels of the August 10th announcement that Steve Jobs’ Apple surpassed Exxon Mobile as the most valuable (publicly traded) company in the world, worth over $337 billion.

As we all know, Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, founded the company in his parents garage when he was just 20. Along the way he was fired from his own company, publicly humiliated, and eventually rehired. He’s always said getting fired launched a new phase of creativity, “The heaviness of success was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.”

Although I have joked that getting fired helped me replace the heaviness of success with the lightness of hunger, Steve Jobs has been my secret inspiration for years, especially after his extraordinary commencement speech to Stanford University.

It is worth revisiting today:

June 12, 2005

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

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