35 Marvelous Walter Isaacson Quotes

Walter Isaacson is an American writer and journalist. He is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, based in Washington DC. As a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization, Isaacson has held many positions and achieved many honors throughout his life. Here is a look at some of the most important Walter Isaacson quotes ever documented.

“Form follows emotion.”

“He had the attitude that he could do anything, and therefore so can you. He put his life in my hands. So that made me do something I didn’t think I could do.”

“I had no idea what i wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”

“I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important.”

“I think the biggest innovations of the twenty-first century will be the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning, just like the digital one was when I was his age.”

“I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.”


“If you act like you can do something, then it will work.”

“If you can’t keep him interested, that’s your fault.”

“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things”

“If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much.”

“In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything. It wears off when he’s not around, but it makes it hard to have realistic schedules.”

“In the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.”

“Most people have a regulator between their mind and mouth that modulates their brutish sentiments and spikiest impulses. Not Jobs. He made a point of being brutally honest.”

“On the day he unveiled the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked Jobs what type of market research he had done.”

“One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.”

“People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”

“Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

“Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume that you are.”

“Reality has an odd habit of catching up with satire.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Simply handing over your iPod to a friend, your blind date, or the total stranger sitting next to you on the plane opens you up like a book.”

“So that’s our approach. Very simple, and we’re really shooting for Museum of Modern Art quality. The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this.”

“The best and most innovative products don’t always win…(it’s an) aesthetic flaw in how the universe worked.”

“The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.””

“The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter. The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do. We won because we personally love music.”

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

“The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,”

“The reality distortion field was a confounding mélange of a charismatic rhetorical style, indomitable will, and eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand.”

“There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth.”

“Throughout his life, Albert Einstein would retain the intuition and the awe of a child. He never lost his sense of wonder at the magic of nature’s phenomena-magnetic fields, gravity, inertia, acceleration, light beams-which grown-ups find so commonplace.”

“To dwell on the things that depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock them down alone.”

“Was he smart? No, not exceptionally. Instead, he was a genius.”

“What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.”

“You should never start a company with the goal of getting rich. Your goal should be making something you believe in and making a company that will last.”

“Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”

Here is a listen of Walter Isaacson as he appeared as this Google Talk titled, “The Innovators.” He discusses the internet and how hackers and geniuses created the Digital Revolution and the way people communicate in the present day.

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