Words of Woz

AMW
21 October, 2007
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Steve Wozniak isn’t perhaps as well known as his fellow Apple cofounder, Steve Jobs, but “Woz” invented the Apple I in 1976 and, in 1977, the Apple II, which was one of the best-selling PCs of that time. In this interview with Peter Moon, the 57-year-old Woz talks about how he met Jobs, his most cherished inventions, and more.

On meeting and working with Steve Jobs: We first met during my college years, while he was in high school. It was 1971 when a friend said, you should meet Steve Jobs, because he likes electronics and he also plays pranks. So he introduced us. We both loved electronics and the way we used to hook up digital chips. Very few people, especially back then, had any idea what chips were, how they worked, and what they could do. I had designed many computers, so I was way ahead of him in electronics and computer design, but we still had common interests. We [still] talk regularly but not much about things related to technology anymore.

On leaving Apple: Being the sort of designer I was, I was designing things all on my own, working alone, and now the company grew to a point that it had organised engineering departments. I could still hang around and do any project I felt like, but I wanted to do real things with people in order to change the world and bring new products. So I didn’t leave Apple. I just went to start other companies, and I stayed in Apple as an employee. I never left being employed at Apple. Up to this day I still get a small paycheque to settle royalties.

On not licensing the Mac OS: If Apple had licensed the operating system, would we still be as large and as good creating such great products? You can never look back and decide how the future would have turned out for Apple … A lot of our biggest assets are customer loyalty, and a lot of customer loyalty comes from people who believe in what Apple was, partly because it was the company that made the whole thing, the operating system, the hardware, the application, services … It’s the greatness of products that come[s] through when we get control over all the aspects of the computer.

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