In the last words of his 2006 autobiography, “iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak relays an exuberant and instructive message to his readers: “And have fun doing it.”
During a press call for the upcoming National Geographic mini-series “American Genius,” one reporter probed Wozniak about that particular passage, asking, “Have you always had fun with your life? There are a lot of people who are very successful who don’t seem to have much fun doing it.”
Wozniak responded with an all-encompassing life philosophy:
“You know what? People running companies, you see a lot and so you’ve got to be upset and you’ve got to be driving and pushing hard. I run into an equal number of CEOs of big successful companies that are friendly, that are well liked, some that even love to tell jokes all the time. So, it can go both ways. I don’t think that has to do with business success.
I had a lifetime philosophy that everything you do in life, whether it’s work or not, you should include an element of fun in it. So, it was a personal philosophy of mine, but it also partly kept me out of — I had philosophies about being nice, a whole bunch of formulas that really said I cannot run a company or be political. I can’t tell people bad things about themselves, that sort of thing. It comes along with me, but I was sort of an extreme example.”
“American Genius,” which premieres on the National Geographic Channel on June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, will lead off with an episode titled “Jobs vs. Gates.” This first instalment in the mini-series will detail the innovation race in the 1980s between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and will feature commentary from Wozniak, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, politician Mitt Romney, and others.