Video: Steve Jobs Advice On Failure Is ‘Just Ask’


As the great 19th Century poet James Barron Hope once told a troupe of veterans, “Tis after death that we measure men.” And as iconic Apple co-founder Steve Jobs may have been during his life, he’s been immortalized since his October 2011 death. It’s impossible to pull up any news without seeing some report referencing Steve. Apple has always fueled the media, but scrutinizing Cuperitino’s every move compared to how Steve might have done it has practically become sport. And interview excerpts from Jobs are being recycled as if the man were a prophet in not only business philosophy but inspiration and wisdom of the purest kind.

Recently, this gem from 1994 resurfaced. In the less-than two-minute video, Steve offers his best advice on how to succeed. He tells the story of his 12-year-old self unabashedly calling legendary tech founder Bill Hewlett back in 1967 and asking for some spare parts to build a frequency counter. He just looked up Hewlett’s number in the book, called him at home, and asked for the parts. Steve not only got the parts, but Hewlett offered him a job that summer building… what else? Frequency counters. That fateful opportunity eventually led Jobs to his initial meeting of Steve Wozniak, and the rest is, well, history.

I’ve always found something to be very true,” Steve said. “Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.

Of course, karma may have been at work in Steve’s good fortune. In true pay-it-forward fashion, he explained he also tries to always be just as responsive when others ask him for help, paying “that debt of gratitude back.

According to Steve, the difference between “people who do things from the people who just dream about them,” is the willingness to pick up a phone and ask for help—something most just aren’t willing to do.

You’ve got to act, and you’ve got to be willing to fail,” Steve said.