Steve Wozniak’s laid back, friendly interview at the Nordic Business Forum set him apart from many of our other speakers this year. Besides his affable appearance and tone, Wozniak presented himself in a humble manner–even though his achievements are anything but. Throughout his interview, Wozniak shared many stories from his youth and stories about Apple’s early days. His way of thinking and innovation are rare, so it was an honor to have him share with us some of his ideas.
Wozniak’s tales of his childhood and thinking come from his father, who encouraged him to find answers to his questions. Being able to grow up in a nurturing environment, where he was able to express himself through technological inventions, Wozniak flourished. Although seeing himself as a shy person, he enjoyed showing off his inventions to others.
When he made a device, either as a prank or to solve a problem, his world view was to use “engineering to make life better.” This world view along with his ideas of building things to impress his friends, helped fuel his interests in building his first personal computer. These early computers were not made with the idea that that they could be monetized for the general public, but for engineers by engineers.
When Wozniak worked for HP, the company turned down the idea of the PC. Wozniak had just met Steve Jobs. They began to build a PC board, making boards for twenty dollars and selling them for forty dollars. From then on, Steve Jobs would push Wozniak into all kinds of crazy projects and ideas. To read more about Wozniak’s innovative life and stories about Apple in the 1970s and 1980s, have a look at our Executive Summary!