Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, speaking to students at the University of Southern California, talked about the early days of the company he started with Steve Jobs in the 1970s. He also revealed he was designing circuits, and learning about computers at a young age.
PCWorld says that at the April 19th presentation, Wozniak revealed that his interest in all things electronic was kickstarted by a journal he discovered “in a closet”.
[The journal contained] articles about these things called computers! There were no books, no magazines in book stores, no place where you can run into anything about what are computers and this had things about 0s and 1s about how we can add them. That’s when I fell in love with science.
Wozniak told the students that the other Steve and he shared two common interests. Pranks, and computers. “When you’re building something for yourself, you put so much emphasis in making it so perfect it couldn’t be finer,” Wozniak explained. “Steve Jobs knew where to sell things. I never thought about that. I just built things for fun.”
That’s how it worked between the “Two Steves”. Wozniak would design devices, Jobs would then sell them.
Wozniak said that to create Apple Computers, he had to make some sacrifices: “I sold my most valuable possession, my HP-65 calculator. It was worth $500; I only got $250 because the guy didn’t show up with the rest.”
He related how he designed the Apple II computer:
…I designed it in three months, back when I had four days and nights without sleep. Your mind, when you are falling asleep or waking up, your mind gets into a less inhibited work state. Go to sleep thinking about the problem really hard, wake up in the middle of the night and have a solution.
Woz had some advice for the students attending his presentation, “Think different. The way things have been done before, that’s like a formula, you hardly ever step back. What if it were all different? A whole new world, a virtual world that doesn’t really exist. With products, sometimes, oh my God, sometimes that leads you to a much better solution.”