The Woz Drops Knowledge

Steve Wozniak

Many of us remember Steve Wozniak from the early Apple days, and keep track of our dear friend in his comparative retirement.

Tech reporters also like to go after this big fish for an interview as in a newly published interview with Jim Marous at The Financial Brand.

However, despite his outsized reputation in the tech world, “the Woz,” as he is fondly known, comes off as a pretty humble guy.

“I just enjoy having fun … a fun life,” Wozniak says in answer to an interview question about his decades-long legacy in tech.

However, the veteran of a lifetime of rapid innovation is willing to provide some input on how to prepare new generations for a technologically complex workplace.

“We should have more technology and STEM education in schools and better prepare people,” he says.

Interestingly, Wozniak suggests utilizing Raspberry Pi mini-computers to introduce young people to the world of hardware, while reinforcing his idea that the best way to pursue goals and objectives is to enjoy the process.

In fact, various education centers are using the Raspberry Pi prolifically to introduce kids to code, as in these summer programs announced this past June at YoungWonks:

“With summer underway, this is a good time for children to devote their energies to interesting STEM projects. And given the popularity of the Raspberry Pi – a series of small single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools – it is befitting that we bring you some fascinating Raspberry Pi projects that kids can code and build for themselves this summer.”

Going back to the published interview, we also see a glimpse of Wozniak’s thoughts on government in tech.

“Only the ones who can create are the ones that really know what a realistic approach to innovation is.”

Another point from Wozniak’s published remarks underscores the idea, promoted by such well-known innovators as Rod Johnson and others, that innovation, at its core, is really about people and how they work. Remembering the early days that made himself and Steve Jobs twin stars in the tech world, Wozniak talks about human relationships, about the natural progression from the imaginative spark to the next disruption in technology.

“Mostly, I remember the times we had before Apple,” Wozniak says. “Strange as that sounds, we just had a lot of fun times laughing together and exploring and being excited about what was going on and being kids. … It was a type of closeness that was just so important to me. After Apple got going, he was so great at his thinking and his way of seeing the future. The trouble is he was very poor at executing, and he didn’t know computers and we had a lot of failures at Apple. Eventually, he came back and his success was not in computers. It was with the iPod, a human-centric device. He understood humans.”