Welcome to the wizard of Woz, and 5 invaluable lessons from this original geek!
In November 2017, I spoke at the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum, held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching in Sarawak. Also speaking at the same forum was the co-founder of Apple Computers, Steve Wozniak.
Nicknamed “Woz”, the ‘original geek’, he was not only Steve Job’s partner in establishing Apple, he was also the inventor of the Apple II computer (last human being to invent a full computer), which helped propel Apple to greatness.
Not only did he help shape the entire early computing industry, he is also a philanthropist and gave away a huge part of his fortune to others.
Wozniak is a true geek in every sense of the word. He never created or invented ‘stuff’ to become rich and famous. He simply wanted to ‘make cool stuff’ and that was what motivated him.
Much can be learnt from the simple joy he obtained toiling day and night just to create ‘cool stuff’.
Many inventors and business leaders today work tirelessly so that they can become rich and famous. They aspire to get some awesome product or service out the door and exit within three years, making billions in the process. Wozniak was a true engineer and geek – he just loved building.
As I listened to Wozniak, a realisation dawned on me – success is not about money or fame, but about doing things you love to do.
Wozniak, who is estimated to be worth about USD100mil, could have been richer had he wanted to.
But his joy was in seeing products come alive. In fact, he gave away much of his fortune because it was the right thing to do.
I think that is the starting point of leadership – to be clear on what your mission or purpose is and to keep working tirelessly at it. Never let money or fame dilute your dream of achieving your true joy in life.
A key question for us to ask ourselves: Are you building cool stuff and are you doing it because of the joy it brings? Or are you building it for fame or fortune?
Roshan is the Founder and CEO of the Leaderonomics Group. He believes that everyone can be a leader and "make a dent in the universe", in their own special ways. He is constantly featured on TV, radio and numerous publications sharing the Science of Building Leaders and on leadership development. Follow him at www.roshanthiran.com