Death is the Best Invention of Life

Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford included this:

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life,” he said. “It’s life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.

“Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away,” he warned the 5,000 graduating students. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

This is a theme I hammer home to folks who tell me to wait to start a company and take time to “be a kid,” whatever that means. Life is too short. A freak of nature could kill any of us any day. It is a true tradegy when one puts off till tomorrow what his/her heart is saying to do NOW!

Link: STANFORD / Apple CEO hits serious note at Stanford / In keynote speech, Jobs tells graduates not to waste time.

5 comments on “Death is the Best Invention of Life
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  • Thinking of death as both a portal and a returning-to-dust, I am reminded of something my friend Stephen Mullennix had to say during the post-bubble bust. The same message was paraphrased recently by another commenter on instapundit (

    Shiva is not simply a “destroyer”, and if he was, Indians wouldn’t worship him. They have several million Gods to choose from – it’s a free market out there.

    Shiva is, to be accurate, the “Renewer”. Shiva destroys a world when it is beyond all hope of reform, in order to allow creative energies to build a better world. His anger is that of righteousness, not that of hatred.

    And Vishnu is not a “creator”. To be accurate, he “maintains order” in world that already exists.

    If we were to use business terminology, Shiva’s rage would be “gales of creative destruction” and Vishnu would be a brilliant CEO adding to shareholder value.


    Thanks go to Seth Levine for introducing me to your blog, to which i am now a subscriber (though not through Newsgator, much to Seth’s dismay, but through Rojo.)

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