What did Steve Jobs mean by "still hungry, still dumb"?

Updated on : January 17, 2022 by Harrison White



What did Steve Jobs mean by "still hungry, still dumb"?

As Horace Dediu points out, it was in reference to the final issue of the Whole Earth Catalog. Searching www.wholeearth.com, there is this, from an article called Chicken Little, Cassandra and the Royal Wolf:

"We tend to mistrust the visionaries, because we have a very bad experience with the irresponsible. Hitler's vision was morally irresponsible. Nixon's vision of energy independence was physically irresponsible. Bill Clinton's vision of a future health care system It was half-baked, mixed with concessions to political fighters, not really what he or anyone else wanted, but what

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As Horace Dediu points out, it was in reference to the final issue of the Whole Earth Catalog. Searching www.wholeearth.com, there is this, from an article called Chicken Little, Cassandra and the Royal Wolf:

"We tend to mistrust the visionaries, because we have a very bad experience with the irresponsible. Hitler's vision was morally irresponsible. Nixon's vision of energy independence was physically irresponsible. Bill Clinton's vision of a future health care system It was half-baked, mixed with concessions to political fighters, not really what he or anyone else wanted, just what he was willing to settle for, so uninspiring it wasn't worth fighting for.

Another reason we feel uncomfortable in the realm of vision is that if it is a vision that really moves us, one that we deeply share, we are afraid of disappointment. The visionary automatically puts himself in danger; commits to something that has not yet happened; take a visible position. That kind of action creates fear. What if it is not removed? So not only will that vision look silly, ALL visions will look silly.

It is much safer to plunge into cynicism. We will never look fools. "

UPDATE: You can never say enough about these really nice quotes. I added dimension to some of the answers here on Quora and put them together as a book. I did not forget to give you credit. The book can be found here:
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish - Kindle Edition by ChuQ Dennis. Literature and Fiction Kindle eBooks on Amazon.com.

About Steve Jobs, now famous quote from the back cover of the 1974 edition of The Whole Earth catalog:

Stay hungry. Stay silly


For me, I think it meant:
Stay Hungry:

(while trying to build something better) keep building, keep modifying, keep wishing for more / better solution; th

Keep reading

UPDATE: You can never say enough about these really nice quotes. I added dimension to some of the answers here on Quora and put them together as a book. I did not forget to give you credit. The book can be found here:
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish - Kindle Edition by ChuQ Dennis. Literature and Fiction Kindle eBooks on Amazon.com.

About Steve Jobs, now famous quote from the back cover of the 1974 edition of The Whole Earth catalog:

Stay hungry. Stay silly


For me, I think it meant:
Stay Hungry:

(while trying to build something better) keep building, keep modifying, keep wishing for more / better solution; That way, you will meet, perhaps even exceed, your expectations and those of others.


Stay silly:

(when others put you off while building something better) stay focused; because others will think that you are trying to "reinvent the wheel", they will see you as a fool. Keep it that way. Because in the end, you will prove them wrong.

Stay hungry: having a desire or need to feel that what you have right now is not enough. You can always build something better. Someday, there will be something better and more important than even the iPad.

Stay silly: notions like "that's not possible" or "no one has done that, so we can't" should be something you foolishly left to the wind because that kind of thinking is not how you change things, but how you change things. Maintain the status quo.

Be silly, make mistakes, don't be an expert who evaluates things and judges them as "doable" or not! You were born a fool in this world, and growing up, you only learned by making incredibly stupid mistakes, keep making those stupid mistakes, learn!

Put another way by George Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts to the world, while the irrational man insists on adapting the world to himself, therefore all progress depends on the irrational man"

Be unreasonable, be stupid, be a child, eyes wide open, jaw dropped, shocked look on your face, go for it!

"Those who dare to think differently are those who change the world."

Thinking different, apart from the rest of the crowd, can often be interpreted as silly. Conventional wisdom is unconventional, nor wise, people who adhere to the status quo will not grow in mind or spirit. Our nature is to reject the safe path, to experience things that are beyond our capacity, to reach the unattainable ...

In Nietzsche's words:

"What does not kill me makes me stronger."

Nassim Taleb, the author of The Black Swan writes in his most recent book "Antifragile - things that benefit from d

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"Those who dare to think differently are those who change the world."

Thinking different, apart from the rest of the crowd, can often be interpreted as silly. Conventional wisdom is unconventional, nor wise, people who adhere to the status quo will not grow in mind or spirit. Our nature is to reject the safe path, to experience things that are beyond our capacity, to reach the unattainable ...

In Nietzsche's words:

"What does not kill me makes me stronger."

Nassim Taleb, the author of the black swan, writes in his most recent book "Anti-Fragile: Things That Benefit from Clutter."

That it is the property of biological entities to grow as a result of a challenge, and that things that pressure us, being still or being safe cause atrophy, exercising the brain, moving us, makes us grow.

Jobs cited the farewell message posted on the back cover of the 1974 edition of The Whole Earth catalog.

As a counterculture publication, Whole Earth Catalog was steeped in subtle ideology. Being foolish involved being naive about how things should be and thus allowing oneself to see how things could be.

"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the Bibles of my generation ... It was kind of like Google in pocket form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic and brimming with nifty tools and great notions. "

It means that we should not be swayed by what others think or say about your mission. If you are on a mission to mark a hole in the world, on your journey you will meet many people who will try to discourage you and make you feel foolish. I think he had the intention of not changing your course and being influenced by those people. Instead, stay silly and move on to fulfill your mission.

That we should never let the curious child in us die. We must be passionate, always eager and hungry to be something better, to do something new, to do something perfect, never be afraid of making mistakes or failing. We should have an unwavering hunger for achievement. Because all great artists, many considered fools in their day, had to risk failure. If we have to be great, we also have to take risks!

The most recognizable occasion was the 2005 Stanford University commencement address. "Stay Silly" talks about your history of breaking the rules and having conviction when others think your ideas are crazy.

Stay hungry, stay silly: Steve means, if you find a fresh apple on an apple tree, you can take it and enjoy the fruit, but after he forgets to mention that the apple is the forbidden fruit ... just too easy to take and eat! The consequence is our world, all innovation is great, people invent for people, it becomes so easy to drink, savor and enjoy, (like the apple) and ... the result is in our society.

By "stay dumb," Jobs meant that we should challenge basic assumptions that other people accept without question. Don't be afraid to sound silly by asking why something should be done the way it is, just because it has been commonly accepted for years.

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