Speaking at a Sensis breakfast event attended by more than 100 Sensis customers this week, CEO John Allan introduced Steve explaining that his influence on electronics and technology has been incredible.
"Steve went on to invent the Apple 1 and Apple 2 and these were the first personal computers in our lives if you think back to that era… It’s not just about the Apple products, he’s been heavily involved in wireless GPS technology and today he is the Chief Scientist of Fusion IO which is based in Utah."
John Allan commended him for being awarded the highest technology award from the US President, the National Medal of Technology and being inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.
Steve Wozniak then began by telling the audience he had two goals in life – firstly to become an engineer and secondly a teacher and he has accomplished both and clearly much more. In January, Apple reported the largest quarterly profit for any public company in history at $18.4 billion.
He and Steve Jobs met when they were teenagers and while Wozniak told of generously giving away computers for free, Steve Jobs brought the marketing skills to the table and as a result, they collaborated together.
“Steve was so quick to pick up the marketing principles, he had the drive to start up a company and he impressed everyone in the world of high level people… We knew we had a hot product that was going to be something big.”
He offered an example of Steve Job’s marketing skills with a story about how the Apple logo was developed. Their ad agency at the time showed them the Apple with six colours in the order of a rainbow. “But Steve Jobs rearranged the order of the colours and it was an improvement… He was one step ahead of everybody.”
Also known as ‘The Woz’, here’s Steve Wozniak’s top tips for business.
- Be revenue focused – If you’re starting out as an entrepreneur or a start up, you need someone with strong business sensibilities because without ongoing revenue you won’t be able to invest in better products.
- Be marketing savvy – You need a marketing person who doesn’t just want to market your products for other people but your marketing staff should be invested in your products from the start. It’s important to always focus on the customer.
- Be able to solve challenges – An engineer will be able to help your company develop innovative new ideas to solve people’s challenges but they need to be empowered to do this.
- Be disruptive – All businesses should have a Chief Disruptive Officer who needs to be a thinker who won’t accept the status quo but will also be cost effective in their approach. He says this person should report into the CEO.
When discussing technological innovations such as wearable tech, driverless cars and the emergence of artificial intelligence, Wozniak said he didn’t feel wearable tech “would really take off” although virtual reality has phenomenal implications for the future.
Steve and his wife now have a Tesla car and says while this technology is very close to being completely driverless resulting in fewer accidents, it’s still not at this stage yet.
“Artificial intelligence has the potential to make the world better but a computer will never be able to have the intuition of the brain… We hit on part of the brain’s functioning ability with Google search and while the machines are starting to learn, they aren’t there yet.
“Isaac Asimov had a rule of robotics that a robot will never harm a human being. Isaac Asimov had it wrong because a robot that thinks for itself and gets to that level of intelligence does not obey human instructions like a slave.
"I have Woz’s law – we don’t want these robots to ever be against us and instead only be our helpers in life. So Woz’s law is no human being can ever harm a thinking, feeling robot.”