Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is a 2008 book by the Indian non-fiction author Rashmi Bansal. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish created a new record in Indian publishing by selling over 300,000 copies and has been translated into eight languages.
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish Summary
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is a famous quote of American business magnate Steve Jobs which he originally took from last page of the Whole Earth Catalog published in October 1974. It features the stories of 25 MBAs from IIM Ahmedabad who left lucrative jobs to follow the rough road of entrepreneurship.
In between, he speaks extensively about what helped him survive it all: an enduring love for what one does. “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle,” he says.
Contemplating his impending death, he further said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. 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. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.
It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5 cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example.
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish!
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
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About the Author
Rashmi Bansal is an Indian non-fiction writer and entrepreneur. As of 2019, she is the author of nine books on entrepreneurship. Her first book, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, traced the progress of 25 MBA entrepreneurs and sold over 500,000 copies.