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One to One with Steve Wozniak

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World-changing innovation is impossible without drive and imagination, says Wozniak

The name Apple is still considered synonymous with innovation worldwide and the presence of the company’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, at The Government Summit 2015, in the Year of Innovation, drew considerable interest and interaction.

Wozniak, whose session was moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, spoke about how he and the other Steve, Jobs, built on their friendship, mutual respect, and their complementary talents to create world-beating products and what is today the world’s most valuable listed company by market capitalization.

“I was always the geek who loved to build products that were the world’s first. Steve [Jobs] was the guy who would turn them into cash,” Wozniak said.

The Apple co-founder said he was proud to build the Apple II, a product that was so advanced that even Hewlett-Packard engineers respected it. “It would change the world,” Wozniak said, “and go on to become Apple’s sole source of income for the first 10 years. I built that single-handed – the hardware, the software, everything.”

Innovation was the hallmark of the Apple II. It was the first desktop computing device with color, games, “it had everything that no other device had at the time”, at a cost that anyone could afford.

The corporatization of Apple had a negative effect on innovation, he said, pointing at the failure of the first Macintosh model. The early rapid growth of the company after it went public resulted in systems and processes that were so rigid that it was difficult for innovative engineers to bring good ideas to market, he said.

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