Editor-in-Chief’s Letter

Woz’s Wisdom

Got a seemingly crazy idea to improve your service, your product offerings or your business? Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some advice for you: Jump on it now – before anyone else does.

Wozniak, who keynoted our ASI Show Orlando in January, said he pitched his idea for a personal computer to his first employer, Hewlett-Packard, not once but five times, until he finally gave up. His employers told him consumers had no use for such things, and so he decided to design one in his spare time. “I was such a geek,” said Wozniak, who joined H-P as an engineer straight out of high school. “I had no chance for a girlfriend or a wife or parties, so I came home at night and designed stuff.”

The rest, as they say, is history: The Woz joined forces with Steve Jobs and the two began working on projects together. First, Wozniak helped Jobs design Pong, the famed Atari game (in under four days, by the way). And eventually, the duo created Apple. Within a short time, he said, the pair “was making more money than our parents had ever made in their entire lives.”

The key to being a successful entrepreneur, he told the audience, is to “come up with some little idea, or some twist on an idea, that hasn’t been done before. If people tell you it’s crazy, all the more reason to keep going with it,” he said.
    So what ’crazy ideas’ does Wozniak see coming to fruition on the technology front? He believes wearable technology will continue to grow, and we’ll see more and more people operating household items, like light switches, with voice commands. And, he said, computers will be able to learn your habits and make decisions. As an example, your refrigerator might automatically order more milk when you’re running low.

The one technology advance the Woz doesn’t wish for? “I hope we aren’t able to make machines conscious,” he said. “If they do become conscious, I hope they take good care of us.”

Get more great advice and predictions from Wozniak by listening to our editors’ interview with him on ASI Radio at asicentral.com/radio.

Enjoy the issue!