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Startup School

Steve Wozniak

Parts of this talk on Gnomedex can also be heard here http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail214.html

Woz Apple Co-founder

We have a computer inside our brain neurons.

I had this thing started in the summer. Lots of pain and all that. And when your health is that seriously impacted. And then I finally came up with a good joke. As long as you have enough gadgets your health doesn't matter lortabs .

One of the proccesses of starting a company is you have to have the seeds of invention. Out-of-the-box moments, "how can I do it cheaper or better?"

the holy trinity - faster better cheaper

We're born as babies. We want to reach out and touch things.

A lot of the products aren't fun.

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Books & tv inspire us during early ages.

"When you're going to start a company you have to be willing to take risk." I sold a calculator for $500 (when I was at HP) knowing I could buy a better one for $370 next month because I worked at HP.We didn't take huge risks to start Apple.

Took a bigger risk -- stopping taking medications than starting Apple. Must have goal and skills to build it out of smaller pieces and parts.

In my case developing skills was accidental. When we started designing computers in high school we didn't have computers, I thought I would be an engineer - radio, television, not computers.

No books, no references, parents, peers, nothing. Self-taught. "Oh my gosh, I can design that better!"

Wasn't competing against the world - against myself.

If I could get it down to fewer chips or smaller size, I win. It was a game, with no tangible rewards. No extrinsic rewards, only intrisic rewards. No title, fancy clothes, salary.

When you're working on a company and taking a risk you have to do something purchase valiumwhen you don't know if it's going to work. Have to sit down in lab and see if it will work.

Free-floating state of mind. Mind comes up with ideas.

Designed breakout with Jobs in 4 days without sleeping.

Back then games were hardware - no software. Color was a new idea.

I was a digital person, adult video download television was an analog world, but ~you can map the concepts to analog~ Shifting bits to produce color on TV from a game.

Once we had software, we can program a game rather than design it.

Would BASIC be fast enough to program a game? Was able to build a game in BASIC in 30 mins, but would have taken 100 years of hardware design.

Humor and creativity are essential and similar. You go off on a path and the punchline shows there was a different path/meaning.

Keys to motivation: autonomy. Be the director, be in charge of how to solve the problem. Getting praise is important as motivation.

Look at the end product. "The product would make us a superior person."

Good to have an idea of the values of you and your company.