Steve Wozniak Interview

Woz on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple.

What would you say your biggest strength is?
Right now? Probably being able to listen and communicate and teach others, especially how something works. I am also very observant of things that the Macintosh stood for originally—user interface and the ways computers should work for us and not against us. But anything new you get for your computer, it’s horrible to go through a five minute installation. Because you know there’s a 50% chance that you’re going to wind up spending five hours and you may not even get it working. Every techno product is that way. It’s always the dumbest little tech things. A switch won’t work—one switch shuts down your whole life and you think, “Why are all these low-tech things going wrong?” It’s just not right that so many things don’t work when they should. I don’t think that will change for a long time.

What would you say your biggest failure is?
I don’t know. It depends how you define failure.

How would you define it?
I think everything I have done in my life, my reasons at the time were right no matter how things worked out. However, I only applied to one college, the University of Colorado, and I think MIT was the perfect school for me. Maybe that was a mistake. That’s about the only thing I question, right down to addresses not being linear on an Apple II and things like that. I don’t ever look back and say, “Oh, I wish this would have been different.” I don’t live like that.

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
Not now. I’m not trying to do that because I wouldn’t put 20 hours a day into anything. And I wouldn’t go back to the engineering. The way I did it, every job was A+. I worked with such concentration and focus and I had hundreds of obscure engineering or programming things in my head. I was just real exceptional in that way. It was so intense you could not do that for very long—only when you’re young. I’m on the board of a couple of companies that you could say are start-ups, so I certainly support it, but I don’t live it. The older I get the more I like to take it easy.

Publication date: July 17, 2000.

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