Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, widely regarded as one of the most influential minds in modern technology, spoke exclusively to Women Love Tech after he spoke at the third Pivot Summit in Geelong last week.
Mr Wozniak – known simply as “Woz” – designed the hugely successful Apple II, one of the foundation stones of modern personal computing, and co-founded Apple Computers with Steve Jobs in 1976.
Here is a transcript of our exclusive video interview with the incredible Steve Wozniak.
Robyn: Hello Steve Wozniak and welcome to Australia. It’s a pleasure to interview you.
Steve: Yes and from Geelong, I’ve never been here before.
Robyn: And you’ve got a bit of a relationship with Australia. Tell us about that.
Steve: Well, first of all, I intended a long time ago to become an Australian citizen if possible. And I took out a family residence visa. I can’t live here at the moment because I’m travelling the world a lot speaking and addressing groups and you can’t kind of live far from the world. But I’m on the way. And my son lives here and my first grandchild, my only grandchild is an Australian.
Robyn: We all know what you have in common with Steve Jobs as the co-founders of Apple, but not many people know what you have in common with Brad Pitt. Tell us about face blindness.
Steve: Yes, I have prosopagnosia and I cannot form memories of faces.
If I see you tomorrow I won’t know I’ve ever seen you before, unless you have st
Strange hair, certain clothings, a voice that I can recognise. A lot of people have this but you never know as it never know unless it shows up as an outstanding thing. It’s really funny but I had an air crash once and if I knew people before the airplane crash I can see them40 years later and I instantly know who they are. So I can identify faces. I just can’t form new memory.
Secondarily, you can usually figure stuff out. Now if my wife were here and I didn’t expect her to be I might not recognise her. I might think maybe that’s Janet.
Robyn: Tell us what you were like as a young boy.
Steve: Firstly, I was identified as a math wizard, I had an over 200 IQ when I was very young. My parents didn’t tell me, didn’t make a deal out of it and I’m so thankful to them. But you know what we are all born curious. I think my parents pretty much let me do my own thing. If I wanted to try something out and experiment, they helped. And science projects were huge thing in my life. Every science project I ever worked on back till when I was very young, I remember well. I did ones that were huge and amazing and I didn’t realise it but at that time nobody knew the things I knew about computers when I was ten years old.
Robyn: What would you tell your younger self?
Steve: Be exactly who you are. Be who you are, follow your dreams and that’s what I did.
Robyn: Inventing the personal computer, what was your original aim?
Steve: Well, I had wanted a computer for myself ever since high school or just before that. So all of a sudden I had a useful computer that I could type programmes in. If there was a puzzle in a toy store, I could type in numbers/programmes that would solve the puzzle for me. I had my heart’s dream for the rest of my life with that first computer, which became the Apple One. And it was a little proof computer. With the second one (the Apple II), I had a history of games, video arcade games, they were coming into being. They were black and white. They took a year to design. And I designed my computer to also be a game that was the first time ever be in colour. The first time ever they were in software, so a nine year old kid to type in if they were in vertical or horizontal positions and draw things and make things move on a screen. That was a huge step for gaming and that was fun. That’s part of my formula for Happiness. H = S – F. Happiness equals smiles minus frowns.
H = S – F. Happiness equals smiles minus frowns.
And I developed that when I was about 20-years-old when your brain is solidifying for the rest of your life. And I said that I’m going to do things that are going to entertain me. Games, movies, puzzles, music, and you know making jokes. Frowns. That was a tougher one. I’m not going to argue with people because you have a chance to walk away from people unhappy. I’m not going to care about things when things go wrong I’m going to focus on being constructive and do the best to move forward now. Move right again. If the car gets dented, huh, go get the car fixed. Cars get dented, you know. Some people are oh, wrecks their life or something.
Robyn: It’s been fantastic to interview you and meet such an incredible Game Changer like you and thank you very much.
Women Love Tech would like to thank the Pivot Summit for organising our interview.