AN EVENING WITH STEVE WOZNIAK
Steve Wozniak (2016)
“Our first computers were not born out of greed or ego, but in the revolutionary spirit of helping common people rise above the most powerful institutions.”
Once upon a twentieth century, humanity was captivated by the foresight of science fiction writers and filmmakers. Those dignified, daunting, dreamy glimpses into an imagined future would soon become a reality with the turn of the information age, due in no small part to the contributions of Steve (“Woz”) Wozniak. In August of 2016, Australia has had the pleasure of being in the company of someone who can be said to have truly, literally changed the world.
Among the many accomplishments for which Wozniak is renowned, two stand out above the rest: the inventor of the personal computer, and – along with Steve Jobs – the co-founder of Apple.
Woz’s inventions have been as innovative as the path along which he has travelled to reach his destination. After gaining his experience in a career cocktail of hacking endeavours (which would see him expelled from the University of Colorado Boulder), an interesting ‘contribution’ to hardware development work for gaming company Atari Inc., and a decade-stint at Hewlett-Packard (then an electronics company), in 1976 Woz would go on to single-handedly develop the hardware, circuit board designs, and operating systems for what would become the Apple I – the computer that would revolutionise modern life as we (and the folks of the 70s, 80s and 90s) would know it.
In the same year, he and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computers, and the rest is not history: it continues to be the future, and at present is likely the very screen in front of you right now.
But he has not yielded to the vice that can be immense success; despite a net worth of US $100 million, hubris has not stood in the way of humility for Woz as he consistently values a good old-fashioned work ethic of pleasure over profit.
No stranger to moonlighting (developing the PC on his nights while working at HP), Woz is also a well-renowned philanthropist, a motivational speaker (without the woo-woo), and, importantly, a strong champion for STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), for “Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked”.
It is with immense excitement that Think Inc. had Woz himself, live in Australia in August 2016. An Evening with Steve Wozniak was certainly entertaining, educational, and inspiring to anyone with ideas, and ideas for ideas: “The world needs inventors – great ones. You can be one. If you love what you do and are willing to do what it really takes, it’s within your reach.”
[Open to Android users too.]