Of the three Apple cofounders, the two we know best couldn’t have been more different from each other — Steve Wozniak was the yin to Steve Jobs’ yang.
Where one was noted for his aggressive, driven behaviour, the other is commonly known to be a humble, affable guy. Where one was marketing-minded, the other was obsessively tech-minded. Steve Jobs liked LSD. Steve Wozniak used to run a dial-a-joke phone service.
Despite these disparate qualities, the two leaned on each other to get some incredible work done in the early days of Apple. It was there, in Wozniak’s hands, that one of the first modern personal computers came together before Jobs brought incomparable passion to finding the best way to sell it.
If Steve Jobs is the heart of Apple, Steve Wozniak is the brain. Here’s why this brain still matters some 30 years after those early days of Apple, which has seen him in many different roles, philanthropic, technological, and business-related alike.
Whatever device you're using to read these words, it's not too far a stretch to say it wouldn't exist without Wozniak.
Wozniak gets the credit for the design and build of the Apple II, one of the most influential devices in helping mainstream personal computing and get a computer in every living room.
The EFF is a noted advocacy group that takes up causes often related to free speech, privacy, and digital rights in general. It's gone on to fight high-level court cases and was instrumental in spreading awareness about Congress's censorship-based SOPA legislation.
Wozniak is one of the three people who provided the initial money for the group to get its wheels turning in 1990.
Wozniak joined a company called Fusion-io in 2009 as its Chief Scientist.
Fusion-io explores solid state drive technology, having partnered with such names as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell. It was named the second most-promising technology company of 2010 by the Wall Street Journal.
Alongside former Apple colleagues Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock, Wozniak co-founded Acquicor Technology Inc. It raised a $US150 million IPO in 2006 and has since served as a holding company of sorts, acquiring and optimising smaller tech companies.
He started the Wozzie Awards in 1986 to honour high school and college students for applying computers to the fields of business, art, and music.
Wozniak regularly donates money to his local school district.
In basically all anecdotal Wozniak stories, the takeaway is the same -- he's down-to-earth, humble, and will even wait in line with regular Apple customers to buy the latest gadgets.
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