Getting Out Of The Garage with Steve Wozniak
The blockchain is all about establishing value and checks and balances. Unfortunately, inventors who invest their brain and create things don’t wind up getting as much value as people who put money in. Engineers, school teachers, and a lot of other sectors aren’t respected well in terms of money and value. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, doesn’t think in terms of value or money. Steve says if you have no money, no bank accounts, you can start doing things at home and create stuff out of the garage. Work on your models until you know you have a not just a good product but a great one.
Getting Out Of The Garage with Steve Wozniak
I am here at ChainXChange with Steve Wozniak. I’m a little star struck, I have to admit. It’s intimidating because I’m an originator, an inventor, a designer and to talk to someone who’s done something so extraordinary is a little intimidating. We’re here at a Blockchain Conference, AI. This is a lot of new technology and there is a lot of stuff people are doing in their garages. I’m curious about some things. How do you get out of the garage? Do you need that team? Should you trust it? What should you look for in that?
The way I think is it doesn’t matter if you get out of the garage. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing something worthy because you almost have to measure it in terms of dollars to get out of the garage. If you’re doing something that you’re exploring for the fun of it, “I’m struggling to get some project done,” and it doesn’t have any value to the world, you increase your intelligence. You’re going to be a more valuable member of society to finally be the one who creates the one that does get out of the garage or grab other people’s attention. Even just spreading ideas that you have like an open source, you build upon something I’ve discovered or created and I’m very much in favor of that. I don’t think your goal from day one should be to get out of the garage. Your goal should be to do things that you know are good, that you believe in and that you’re having fun doing.
The blockchain is all about establishing value and checks and balances along the way. How can we get more value in this process? Can we get more value for the inventors and the originators of the world to make sure that their contribution is recognized?
The way the world goes is people who invest their brain and create things and are inventors don’t wind up getting as much value as people put money in. Money is worth more than brains. All engineers have to deal with that. Even school teachers, a lot of categories in life aren’t respected well in terms of money and value. A lot of people grew up with the psychology of realizing, “All I want is my happiness.” Some people are just born to be creators and to think and struggle and try to get something working. When they succeed, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world and they just know they’re meant to be. Not everyone is that way. Some people say, “I can only do this if in a short amount of time I have enough money, I can buy a home in San Francisco.” Different motivation so I tend to be on the lower end of that. Even when Apple came, we were offered big money to start it with my computer. I turned it down at first because I want to remain an engineer for life and never run a company. I realized we could start a company and I can still be an engineer for life.Do as much as you can on $0 on your own. Click To Tweet
I don’t think in terms of value. I did not start Apple to make money and make a huge amount. I was very embarrassed when we did make a huge amount so I shared tens of millions of dollars of my own stock with lots of employees in the company, so they could each get a house. With a few people that were founders as much as I was, why did three of us have all the wealth? I spread it around a lot more and treat everybody that’s working on a project as a family. You’re all working towards the same goal, not just one or two at the top.
We should start measuring billionaires not by how much dollars they are, but how much impact. Are you impacting a billion people? You certainly have done that in your time.
Unintentional, but if I’m going to impact anyone, I’d like to impact young people and let them believe in themselves and keep working as makers, as learning creators, learning inventors. Just doing what they liked doing and that has some value.
We’d like to inspire the 3D print community. It’s part of what we do in one of our podcasts. There are some lots of great stuff going on there and application happening. It’s come out of the hype cycle where the real use cases are happening. Are you seeing that here in blockchain and AI and other areas? Are you seeing cases started happening?
I don’t look specifically because most of the blockchain examples I had seen almost everywhere around the world seem to be very localized. It’s slow to expand but so were all the other companies that were saying, “Everything we do in life is going to be done on the internet.” Things happen including mobile broadband coming that let it happen but for a while, it had to die off. A lot of companies died off. How do you live through it is the big question. One thing I say is do as much as you can on $0 on your own. Live at home. That’s what the home or the garage is a metaphor for. If you have no money, no bank accounts, you have to do some stuff at home. Go as far as you can on zero and try to always have working models that totally demonstrate what you have. Keep working to make it better and better before you go out and accept somebody else’s money. If you learn more about what you have, you’ll be able to demonstrate its value better and you’ll learn more of it.
Steve, thank you so much for answering my questions and being here. You’re inspiring a lot of people in this audience to what’s going to happen next and what they’re going to do next and to keep making.
For young entrepreneurs, remember that Apple was started by a couple of kids that were in their young twenties. We had no checking accounts or savings accounts to speak of. No rich relatives, no money at all, but we had one great product to start the company with that was going to be all of our revenues for the next ten years. Work on it until you know you have a great product and not just a good one.
Great advice from ChainXChange.