Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Book Review: iWoz (A True Techie)

Just finished iWoz which my sis bought for me (RM 35.50 only with a 3 for 2 deals on top). Steve Wozniak is not really my idol, neither is Steve Jobs. Nevertheless, I am curious about how they started Apple anyway.

My first impression about the book is that it involved a lot of self bragging. After a few more chapters, I don’t think it’s about bragging in a bad way; it’s just how technician behaves when they try something really cool and wanted to share it with the world.

Steve Wozniak was an Engineer and Techie at heart, playing with circuit, chip and electronic since he was young. His passion and solid foundation in engineering and electronic make it possible to create the state of the art Apple II at that point of time, where keyboard, color monitor, computer sound and software is not really of existence yet. It’s his passion which drive him to create things in the most effective manner (or sophistication), to use lesser chips and increase performance.

He’s a fun loving guy, never quite really into making money but instead to create something really cool or fun. He loves to have fun (with his jokes and pranks), treat his friends and co-workers very well (he practically give them free Apple shares), let people have fun (the US Festivals) and a definite philanthropic to help others to achieve a better life. Of course he is not very successful with his marriage life, but did try his best to raise his children in a liberal and adventurous way. I wonder how his children are doing now.

As a person, Wozniak is really great and easy going, and passionate about hardware. He is not really a good example of corporate figure or management, as he just want to have fun and remain an engineer. Of course he moves on to philanthropic effort later in life.

The final advice form him is: if you are going to become an innovator or artist, it’s better to work alone. You’re going to best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Nothing great comes out from a committee. Large and structured company will restrain you imagination and exploration, and make it very difficult to do so.

Sometimes I also though of the idea of having a few partners and investors, but it just bring the fun away in exchange for money and help. I used to try to apply for Venture Capital funding whenever I came up with an idea, and usually my proposals wouldn’t gain their attention. Perhaps it’s better if I always start the idea on my own to prove that it’s really something, rather than convincing people how good it’s on paper. In fact, most of the times I don’t even know how good it will be. I just know it’s fun and useful :)

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