Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, told Elon students on Thursday how important it is to find personal motivation. He said everyone must, “believe in [their] own ideas, even if they’re different from other people’s.”
Wozniak, who helped begin the personal computer revolution, used to be a shy, “social outsider” as a child. This worked to his advantage, however, because he said, “you believe in your own ideas when you are inward.”
Wozniak spent much of his youth working on computers secretively without his parents knowing. He said, “The mathematics of a fifth grader can understand all this computer stuff.”
Wozniak worked to create a small, simple computer. He didn’t have a lot of money, and there were not a lot of computers available to experiment when he started off, so he had to work with what he had. He said, “You do what you have to do…make do with what you have, search for solutions that don’t cost as much money…you’ll find better solutions.”
Wozniak explained how important it is to find motivation. He said having a personal connection with something would inspire a person. “When something matters, those are the things that push you the hardest and have the most meaning in your life,” he said.
When Steve Jobs came to Wozniak asking him if he wanted to create a single- player version of Pong, Wozniak said he couldn’t have been more excited, because he would be the reason that such a successful game was created. Wozniak would only have four days to create the game, which normally takes months to make. Wozniak said he stayed up for four days and nights, and successfully crafted the game. He said if he didn’t have a personal connection to this, he wouldn’t have been able to do it in such a short amount of time.
Wozniak said technology could simplify peoples’ lives and make them happy. “I started thinking about my device as a friend,” he said.
Wozniak joked about how technology has changed the world. “We don’t know how a brain is wired, but Google replaced a lot of brains,” he said.