The week that Woz

Macworld Australia Staff
18 May, 2012
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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has been touring Australia giving a number of speeches titled ‘The Apple Story’, delving into the world’s richest company’s past and it’s rise to popularity.

Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ron Wayne founded Apple in 1976, and while Jobs provided vision, determination and direction for the new company, Wozniak was the brains behind the operation.

Described by some as an ‘engineering genius’, Wozniak designed and built Apple’s first two computers aimed at beating IBM in the business market.

Wozniak has been a source of commentary on Apple and Jobs since his full-time employment at the company ceased in 1987. He remains an honorary Apple employee and shareholder, while writing, engineering and speaking independently.

Wozniak’s Australian tour has made a few headlines this week, here’s a rundown of what was said.

Perth: Friday May 11

Who should be credited for Apples success?

Mike Markkula “was a key figure in Apple’s early days, bankrolling the company in the beginning with a [US]$250,000 investment, convincing Wozniak to work at Apple instead of HP and even writing some software for one of Apple’s first computers. But it wasn’t the investment or the coaching that Wozniak called out in his lecture, so much as the way Markkula fundamentally changed the company’s business strategy early on.”

Business Insider’s Seth Fiegerman

“Mike Markkula was actually the one man and one person who made Apple a successful company.”

Wozniak (source: Business Insider)


Uncool Apple?

“Apple a victim of its own success? You could have asked that at any point along the way.”

“Of course there’s always a chance – and there’s also a chance that it will become twice as successful because of its success.”

“I’ve never seen the Apple brand tarnished in all the time, even when the company was doing poorly.”

Wozniak (source: Herald Sun)


Android vs iPhone?

“They do some things that the iPhone doesn’t do, I just like to admire things that are good.

“(When I say) a certain thing is better on the Android phone, it means I want it on my iPhone!”

Wozniak (source: Herald Sun)



“I, Steve Wozniak, don’t have broadband at my home.”

“Broadband is a monopoly in my town – that means you can get it from a cable company, but I don’t have cable.

“There are 50 companies that want to sell me DSL, but they’ve all got to go through the Horizon wires – the local phone company – and I’ve got one of the two worst Horizons in the country.”

Wozniak (source:


Sydney: Monday May 14

Public Facebook?

“All of a sudden you have shareholders that are directing the company and demanding answers and getting upset if things aren’t going as well as they hoped.”

“Once you go post-IPO, all of a sudden Mark Zuckerberg can be more at the mercy of the owners.

“That is something to worry about and something they have to watch out for, but I think he has got a strong enough focus to continue on as he has been going, and I really hope it goes well for them.”

Wozniak (source: The West Australian)


Future innovation?

“It’s still changing faster than ever before; you have to be ahead; a lot of companies have to think about – what could this change mean to me?. Silicon Valley is known for innovation; it’s almost like a worldwide ideal for every country to have its Silicon Valley, but that’s not a good idea. Tim Cook shouldn’t try to be Steve Jobs; you’ve got to be your own.”

“Innovation comes from brain power; it comes form having smart people around. It doesn’t come from just cranking a wheel.”

Wozniak (source: Gizmodo)


Robotic future?

“In the future robotics will be important; people who know how to build with motors, microprocessors and software; they’re going to get a lot like humans; so far we’ve had a lot of things that are simulated intelligence, but they’re going to have to learn.

“(Other interesting things I see are) nanowave tech, which can detect viruses, bacteria or glucose levels without touching your body. Sound and voice; I speak to my phone so many times. But so often it won’t understand me. Why doesn’t it get what I mean? That’s going to be improved in the future. If I had a son going into computer science right now, I’d say go into voice . That would be an area to explore for the innovative future.”

Wozniak (source: Gizmodo)


Apple: Open or closed?

“There’s a lot of things about the closedness of Apple I don’t like and wouldn’t have done myself, but obviously I’m very overjoyed with the quality of the products. So is that a result or not? I’m not expert enough to say.”

“If making it open would give us not the quality of Apple products all working together like they do, I would say keep it closed.”

“Steve Jobs, upon his return, kept a lot of projects secret from the outside world. The outside world sort of knew every step Apple was making for a long time, and it really inhibited innovation. If everyone knows what you’re doing, you’re almost scared to take any steps that are very risqué, very different.”

Wozniak (source: ZDNet)


No engineers in Apple’s leadership

“The big company thing just wasn’t for me – I didn’t want to run a company.”

“When I started apple, I made a decision: I wanted to be an engineer forever… and I did not want to be running the company.”

Wozniak (source: ARN)

“Fortunately, at Apple, the major decisions weren’t made by engineers. At Hewlett-Packard, that was the case, and it was appropriate because we were making products for engineers. If we had engineering making all the decisions at Apple, it would have been – in my mind – very bad.”

Wozniak (source: ZDNet)

“You can also have all the engineers come up with ideas [that all want their ideas incorporated] and you wind up with something that’s so overgrown and complex.”

Wozniak (source: ARN)

“Apple products, if you look at them, are very much different, and that is thanks to basically having one mind at the top that would not let them get overly complicated; have good, friendly things for normal human beings and have very few functions that get in the way, but still let you do what you want to do, but not a lot of gizmos.”

Wozniak (source: ZDNet)


One Comment

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  1. Tim Barnes says:

    Hey Steve!!! Opening a store in Radelaide already would ya!!!

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