Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

The Wizardry of Woz

June 24, 2006


Steve Jobs has always been the celebrated of the original duo behind Apple computers. But now his original eccentric other half is coming out with a book that (after reading Guy Kawasaki's pre-release blurb) is gonna be a smash storyteller delving deep into the gray-scale mind of a genius inventor. Obviously, we are talking about the new book by Steve Wozniak (co-authored with Gina Smith) that's coming out this November.

I'm excited after reading Guy's great blurb on his blog site. For starter's here's what Guy's little blurb says:

"Every engineer—and certainly every engineering student—should read this book. It is about the thrill of invention, the process of making the world a better place, and the purity of entrepreneurship. I, Woz is the personal computer generation’s version of The Soul of a New Machine. It is, in a nutshell, the engineer’s manifesto. I hope that the so-called “innovation experts” and MBAs choke when they read it."

Touted as every engineer geeks dream and every MBA's thought-provoking nightmare, it's gonna be a kick-ass read for a person like me who dwindles between right and left brain thinking managing the tension between creatives and clients in ad agencies. I also like the top ten things that Guy so profoundly (and entertainingly) likes to come up with on most things. The three that stood out for me from his top ten takeaways from the book are:

1. Woz and Jobs worked as Alice in Wonderland characters at shopping mall in San Jose. (I had always sensed in my mind that there has to be an 'Alice in Wonderland' connection in the Apple story)

2. The statement that convinced Woz to leave HP to start Apple (uttered by Allen Baum) was, “You can be an engineer and become a manager and get rich, or you can be an engineer and stay an engineer and get rich.” (There had to be great inspirational quote somewhere in Wozniak's legendary career)

3. Woz taught computer technology to elementary school students for ten years. (Shows his modesty and willfullness to impart knowledge)

And finally, here's Woz's top 4 tips on being a great engineer (maybe the first and four might help me too in my zig-zag ad career):

  1. Don’t waver.
  2. See things in gray-scale.
  3. Work alone.
  4. Trust your instincts.

So there's a genuine book to look forward to this fall. And one to give my brother-in-law who is starting his freshman year of engineering college next month. He doesn't read much, but I hope this kicks off his engineering as well as reading instincts on the career path ahead.