The clever phrases of Woz – Zurich Insurance coverageAugust 17, 2022
By Michael J. Agovino
Earlier this 12 months, on the podcast “Wild Trip!” hosted by the comic Steve-O, one other Steve – Steve Wozniak – was described as “the one most culturally vital particular person alive right this moment.” If it sounds, nicely, wildly over-the-top, particularly given the supply, suppose once more. Wozniak, the featured visitor in our newest Zurich Talks centered round Future Innovation, co-founded Apple however extra particularly, and considerably, engineered and designed the Apple II in 1977, the primary widely-used private pc, which laid the groundwork for — there’s no different solution to say it – a revolution.
As Macworld put it extra soberly two years in the past: “If any single particular person may lay declare to being the architect of the trendy residence pc as we all know it, it might be Steve Wozniak.” Woz, as he’s affectionately recognized, enthralled our packed auditorium at Quai Zurich Campus with an nearly child-like enthusiasm that was irrepressible. “Fall asleep dreaming and get up in the midst of the night time with an answer,” was simply one of many inspiring pearls he shared with interviewer Ericson Chan, Zurich’s Group Chief Data and Digital Officer (pictured above). “Life is about happiness,” he added. “How pleased are you? What number of good occasions do you’ve got?” And eventually: “All I can say is imagine in your self.”
Woz is a genius and, certain, you may certainly name him “the one most culturally vital particular person alive right this moment,” however he’s additionally half nerd (his phrase), half raconteur, half prankster and half California showman – he was, no joke, on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. He’s additionally been a schoolteacher, philanthropist and all-around first rate human being. Seth Rogan, who portrayed Woz within the 2015 film Steve Jobs, described him to Selection as “immensely lovable,” “candy, compassionate, caring” and “the form of man you wish to give a hug to.” We are able to relate.
All through his profession – in quite a few interviews and in iWoz: Pc Geek to Cult Icon, his memoir written with Gina Smith – Wozniak has all the time been a fount of data and knowledge, whether or not talking on topics like innovation and entrepreneurship, the significance of honesty, or Star Trek and The Large Bang Principle. Consider them as aphorisms by Woz or, as we like to think about them, Woz-isms. We compiled a listing of a few of our favorites:
On his dad:
Jerry Wozniak was an engineer for Lockheed and raised his household in San Jose, California – within the years when Silicon Valley was nonetheless referred to as the Santa Clara Valley. He imparted the virtues of fact and engineering (and fact in engineering) in his son at a younger age.
“My dad believed in honesty. Excessive honesty. Excessive ethics, actually. That’s the largest factor he taught me….I by no means lie, even to this present day. Not even slightly.” –iWoz
“My dad had the opinion that change is what strikes the world ahead and that’s the trail we’re on and mainly all change is sweet.” –iWoz
“The primary ethic I’d gotten from my dad and the ethic he ingrained in me was logic. Logic was the factor. I made a decision that an important measure of an individual was fact, and that the calculations engineers made had been the mark of people that lived in truth.” –iWoz
On Steve Jobs and Apple:
Again within the day: Woz being Woz within the Nineteen Seventies.
Irrespective of how a lot Woz has achieved, and can proceed to perform, he’ll all the time be linked to the larger-than-life Steve Jobs, with whom he co-founded Apple. He and Jobs every had 45 p.c within the authentic firm, and their third companion, Ron Wayne, had 10 p.c.
“Steve [Jobs] and I had been the perfect of buddies for a really, very very long time. We had the identical objectives for some time. They jelled completely at forming Apple. However we had been all the time totally different folks, totally different folks proper from the beginning.” –iWoz
“Simplicity is a mainstay of Apple, and it actually does come to each of us. Steve Jobs was solely recognized as a result of he was being publicized, however even lengthy earlier than computer systems, he knew that I all the time talked about, ‘If I design issues with fewer elements, it’s simpler to grasp, it’s simpler to construct, and it really works extra reliably.’ It takes a whole lot of data and a whole lot of work to try this, however the concept of simplicity we spoke about….and it actually got here from each of us, not only one.” –Woz.org
“A great chief has to identify the gifted assets, the perfect folks to do the totally different jobs – and the best merchandise, the best route to go – so he [Steve Jobs] was the route setter, and he simply knew I used to be the perfect at what I did.” –Interview with Patrick Guess-David, March 2019
“A lot of the knowledge on the market about me is mistaken. I’ve come to hate books about Apple and its historical past a lot due to that. For example, there are tales that I dropped out of school (I didn’t) or that I used to be thrown out of the College of Colorado (I wasn’t), that Steve and I had been highschool classmates (we had been a number of years aside in class) and that Steve and I engineered these first computer systems collectively (I did them alone).” –iWoz
“I discovered a whole lot of issues at Apple these first few years….One factor I discovered immediately from this new expertise of making and dealing at an organization with so many various folks is: Hey, by no means fake you are able to do somebody’s job higher than somebody who’s been doing it for years.” –iWoz
On innovation, engineering and entrepreneurship:
With Woz, it begins and ends with innovation. However his clever recommendation can be utilized to reach nearly any subject.
“For me, it’s the engineering, not the glory, that’s actually necessary.” –iWoz
“Once you get your individual concepts and also you wish to construct one thing for your self, your private concept, perhaps it’s only for enjoyable in your individual life, it’s not even for the world, not for an organization essentially, that’s the way you educate your self. Motivation is price much more than data.” –Interview with Prof. Alan Brown
“I believe randomness and even slightly misbehavior is de facto important to artistic folks.”
“Begin out with tiny tasks that aren’t price any cash on the earth, however that’s the way you develop your mind and that’s the way you be taught. Each challenge you’re employed on in your life – I simply have a look at my very own life for example – is the prior challenge and slightly higher and slightly extra. And each approach you provide you with for doing issues higher you retain perpetually in your head.” –Interview with Prof. Alan Brown
“In the event you learn the identical issues as others and say the identical issues they are saying, then you definately’re perceived as clever. I’m a bit extra impartial and radical and take into account intelligence the flexibility to consider issues by yourself and ask a whole lot of skeptical inquiries to get at the actual fact, not simply what you’re advised it’s.” –iWoz
“I believe randomness and even slightly misbehavior is de facto important to artistic folks.” –Interview with Patrick Guess-David, March 2019
“There was a whole lot of discuss our being a part of a revolution. How folks lived and communicated was going to be modified by us, modified perpetually, modified greater than anybody may predict….However again then, even we had no concept how proper we had been and the way it might turn out to be.” –iWoz
“This a lot I do know for certain: I used to be meant to be an engineer who designs computer systems, an engineer who writes software program, an engineer who tells jokes and an engineer who teaches different folks issues.” –iWoz
“I used to be certain, even at 22, that I didn’t wish to change from engineering to administration, ever. I didn’t wish to go into administration and to combat political battles and take sides and step on folks’s toes and all that stuff.” –iWoz
“It is advisable to imagine in your self. Don’t waver. There shall be folks – and I’m speaking in regards to the overwhelming majority of individuals, virtually all people you’ll ever meet – who simply suppose in black-and-white phrases. Most individuals see issues the way in which the media sees them or the way in which their buddies see them, they usually suppose in the event that they’re proper, everybody else is mistaken. So a brand new concept – a revolutionary new product or product function – received’t be comprehensible to most individuals as a result of they see issues so black and white. Perhaps they don’t get it as a result of they will’t think about it….Don’t let these folks get you down.” –iWoz
Outdated-school: Woz with a Macintosh.
“As an inventor, it’s a must to see issues in grey scale. It is advisable to be open. You possibly can’t observe the group. Neglect the group. And also you want the form of objectivity that makes you overlook every part you’ve heard, clear the desk, and do a factual research like a scientist would.” –iWoz
“The one solution to provide you with one thing new – one thing world-changing – is to suppose exterior of the constraints everybody else has.” –iWoz
“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me – they’re shy they usually reside of their heads. They’re nearly like artists. The truth is, the perfect of them are artists. And artists work greatest alone – greatest exterior of company environments, greatest the place they will management an invention’s design with out a whole lot of different folks designing it for advertising or another committee. I don’t imagine something revolutionary has ever been invented by committee. As a result of the committee would by no means agree on it!” –iWoz
“I believe there’s a time in everybody’s life whenever you look again and ask your self, What else may I’ve been? What else may I’ve completed? With me there’s simply no query in regards to the reply, none in any respect.” –iWoz
On the significance of academics:
Main faculty meant every part to a younger Woz – and he discovered a solution to give again.
“I advised my dad, I’m going to be an engineer first and a fifth-grade instructor second….All by means of faculty and my life, I knew that academics had been so necessary. Engineers obtained paid increased, my dad stated, however I nonetheless wished to have a way of educating….I taught for eight years secretly as a result of I didn’t need press close to the children. Lots of people don’t know I did that, however it was in my coronary heart. It’s straightforward when you’ve got cash to offer computer systems to varsities. Lots of people try this. However your time is much more treasured than cash. And if you happen to give your individual time meaning you actually believed in it.” –Interview with Prof. Alan Brown
“The issues I discovered in my years as a instructor, nicely, they’re simply too quite a few to rely. I felt this was an important time in my life.” –iWoz
“Again within the mid-Nineteen Nineties after I was educating faculty, I believed one time to myself, Wow, I want I might be 12 now, have a look at the issues I may do with what’s on the market now.” –iWoz
On Star Trek and hippies:
Woz was born in 1950, and like so lots of his era, the unique Star Trek sequence, which aired from 1966–69, left a giant impression, as did the hippie motion.
“Star Trek had completed a lot for me. I’m unsure I might’ve had the inspiration that I needed to ever begin Apple and do all these technical issues, and I don’t suppose I might’ve had the which means in my life if I hadn’t gone to Star Trek conventions after I was younger.” –The Huffington Publish, April 19, 2017
“Let me let you know, I used to be by no means a hippie. I attempted to be a hippie, however I may by no means be what they had been – not in highschool and even in faculty when all that protest stuff was occurring. I’d attempt to hang around with hippies as a result of I stood with them politically, however they’d normally ask me to depart as a result of I wouldn’t use medicine.” –iWoz
Let’s be clear: Steve Wozniak has completed greater than OK for himself financially, and justifiably so, however he may have much more within the financial institution if cash was a driving drive for him.
“I don’t make investments. I don’t try this stuff. I didn’t wish to be close to cash, as a result of it may corrupt your values.” –Fortune, April 21, 2017
“I don’t wish to be huge cash, I actually don’t. I didn’t wish to run firms and inform different folks what to do. I used to be an excessive amount of of a pleasant man that I might in all probability get kicked out actually shortly. I wished to design computer systems.” –Interview with Patrick Guess-David, March 2019
“When you don’t have any cash, no financial institution accounts, no wealthy family, that’s how it’s a must to suppose: ‘What can we do right this moment with what we now have.’ And that was our begin.” –Interview with Wild Trip with Steve-O
“I love to do issues totally different. I valued the staff at Apple – there have been greater than 100 by then – as a group….So I made a decision it might be higher to promote a few of my inventory to staff and allow them to profit, slightly than some exterior investor. It was obvious to lots of people at this level that Apple was going to have a really profitable IPO…and high executives and founders at Apple had a whole lot of inventory. We had been all more likely to make thousands and thousands. However a whole lot of different staff had been disregarded, nearly all of them. I made a decision I used to be going to supply to promote some inventory actually low-cost to individuals who deserved it. Common staff didn’t get all of the inventory choices executives obtained. Which wasn’t honest. So I got here up with one thing I known as the Woz Plan. Any engineer or advertising particular person may purchase 2,000 shares from me at a extremely low value of $5. Virtually all people who participated within the Woz Plan ended up with the ability to purchase a home and turn out to be comparatively comfy. I’m glad of that.” –iWoz
“It very a lot bothered me which you could get away with every kind of issues if you end up profitable. For instance, a foul particular person can get away with a whole lot of issues if they’ve some huge cash. And a foul particular person can cover it – cover behind the cash – and preserve being a foul particular person.” –iWoz
Mascot mischief: Woz has buddies in excessive locations.
Regardless of being a brainiac, good humor – and a very good prank – has all the time been an indicator for Wozniak. He even used the pseudonym “Rocky Raccoon Clark,” and at his college no much less, to maintain from being acknowledged.
“I did take work critically – I had engineered a unbelievable product, and everybody knew it – and I used to be severe about beginning an organization and introducing a product. However to me, that goes together with having enjoyable and taking part in jokes. I’d spent my complete life like that. If you concentrate on it, even a whole lot of the persona of the Apple pc was about enjoyable. And that actually happened simply because my type was to have enjoyable. Jokes make issues price doing.” –iWoz
“I do know lots of people will in all probability be studying this e book solely as a result of I began Apple. However what I want extra folks knew about me is what I believe I ought to actually be well-known for: creating the very first Dial-a-Joke within the Bay Space, which was one of many first on the earth.” –iWoz
On music, dancing and TV:
Showtime: Melissa Rycroft with Woz, backstage at Dancing with the Stars.
Moreover showing on Dancing with the Stars – the place he truly did “the worm,” broke his toe and pulled his hamstring – Woz additionally had a cameo on The Large Bang Principle in 2010. Earlier than that, he was recognized to rub elbows with rock stars. In 1981, Emmylou Harris sang at his marriage ceremony, and over the following couple of years he organized the US Competition, two huge outside rock concert events in Southern California that included the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Santana, the Police, Pat Benatar and just about anybody who was anybody in rock again then. Along with Seth Rogan, he was portrayed a second time on the large display in 2013’s Jobs, this time by Josh Gad.
“When Dancing with the Stars known as, I stated ‘What the heck is that?’ I’d by no means seen dancing in my life. I used to be essentially the most outsider there might be.” –At NCR Synergy, 2013
“I fell in love with The Large Bang Principle. It’s all about how I grew up, too. Very a lot a nerd, very a lot unable to converse with folks in a standard sense….It was very nice to go down there and meet the forged.” –At NCR Synergy, 2013
“If I evaluate the US Competition to beginning Apple, there’s an enormous distinction. With Apple, I designed these computer systems alone. I may make each choice on my own. However with the US Competition, I needed to take care of every kind of individuals and attorneys. And let me let you know, in my expertise, the music business is the worst of all.” –iWoz
And the right quote to finish on:
“I hope you will be as fortunate as I’m. The world wants inventors – nice ones. You will be one. In the event you love what you do and are keen to do what it takes, it’s inside your attain. And it’ll be price each minute you spend alone at night time, serious about what it’s you wish to design or construct. It’ll be price it, I promise.” –iWoz
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