Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has arguably been called “The inventor of the personal computer.” But even if you believe that the title belongs to one of the pioneers before him — you can’t deny Wozniak’s contribution to modern-day computers. With all of that success, you would think that Woz would want that achievement to be engraved on his tombstone. Instead, he wants to be remembered for the quality of his work, and not his achievements. Following is a transcript of this video.
“Happiness = smiles – frowns,” would be the best thing on my tombstone.
I think that what I did, I didn’t know it necessarily at the time, is we all don’t necessarily know. It made a huge impact on the world was the Apple II computer and some early, unusual approaches. Everything was so out of the book and so different than any engineering book, any book on computers could have ever said before. And I go back and I’m proud of that, I don’t even understand my designs anymore. I look at them and I say, “How did that even come out of my own mind?”
Everybody would tell you, “No.” Everybody would say, “No.” Remember, when we started Apple, the amount of memory that could hold a song cost a million dollars. OK, how far in the future can you risk seeing? You know, we knew about Moore’s Law, we knew that computers were important, they could help people. The fact that they could do everything in your life was such a foresight in science fiction thought. Steve Jobs may have had some of that — at the start. We didn’t ever talk about it, really. We just talked about what we could build today, short-term, you know, etc.
But, going back to legacy — I don’t want to be known for inventing the first personal computer and you know, bringing personal computers into our life. I want other engineers to look at my work and say, “Wow he did some outstanding engineering, soldering wires the right way, writing code a certain way.”
Everything you do for work, you should have a lot of fun in your life. That when you die, your life is based on happiness. Not your wealth, not your possessions, not your career, not how you succeeded. It should be based on how much you smiled in your life. “Happiness = smiles – frowns” would be the best thing on my tombstone.
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