I grow up wanting to be an engineer through a process of accidents. He knew early that he wanted to be a computer person. When he was ten, he built a big machine that played Tic Tac Toe.
He prides himself on his independent thought. One of the coolest things his high school teacher did for him, was arrange for him to go down once a week to a local business to program a computer. What a greatanecdote about informal internship.
Steve’s hobby was to design computers on the weekend at the hardware layer! It was interesting he was mentioning the computer companies he worked on (HP, DEC, Varian, and a bunch of other companies that aren’t around!)
One of his funny stories was that he built a TV jammer, and in college he would sit in the back of the room and jam the TV. So he would wait until the person had their foot up in air and then un jam the TV. He learned how fun psychology is!
Interesting Factoid – Steve was on the team in HP that built the hand held calculators – and in five years – all the slide rule companies in the US went out of business.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak all dropped out of college to start the industry! So what does that tell us about our HR theories!
Steve Wozniak built Pong – and Steve Jobs sold it to Atari!
What is amazing is that Steve build computers completely from scratch! From hardware, software, and even wrote his own programming language. Steve Jobs came up with the idea of selling motherboards for hobbyists, so Steve W and Steve J sold some personal items to sell boards – the cost was $20 to $40. Their first order was for $50K.
Being low on money and low on resources force Steve W. to figure out how to do Color computing.
Apple knew that they had a success on their hands with the Apple II – but they thought they were going to do lots of home based tasks (checkbooks, etc.) They did not know the first killer app would be VisCalc – the spreadsheet.
Apple got to the point where they knew how to make better macintoshes but they had lost the ability to make “new” things – so when Steve Jobs came back – they started working on the MP3 players – which led to iPod.
All of sudden the iPod sales got as large as the Apple Computers. Which led to two companies inside of one. The secrecy of Apple came abut as a necessity in order to surprise everyone and keep ahead of the competitors.
Steve is saddened that all of the phone companies are now suing eachother instead of cross licensing their technologies. Which is stifling the innovation.
Open Questions and Answers:
What would you like to see in education – “I would like to see one teacher per student” to allow students to allow each child to choose what they want to learn.
How does Success Changes Values – ” I am very luck to have stayed myself, and never really was focused on making lots of money – so I haven’t really changed very much!”
What has given you the most satisfaction – “I love people, and I have been able to make lots of friends. “
Natalie – I am the mother of a seven year old – what
Best Practices: Interesting HR thought – as most of us try to accomplish Best Practices – but Steve cautions us that means all that means is that we are reproducing what others have done. Which may stifle our innovation capabilities.
How do you innovate in a larger company: Apple has this product issue today, and the way they solved it was the Steve Jobs always had an opinion and singular vision. That voice of the executive visionary is critical to driving innovation.
Harald Ackershott – “What could have HP done better instead of turning Steve Woz down.” Steve doesn’t think they could have done it right – as they would have had to change the entire corporate culture -as HP was an engineering company.
Great Question about how Steve changed from being an introvert to being a public speaker. Wozniak knew that he wanted to be an engineer, a teacher and a joker. But over time he has been able to grow in his speaking ability!