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In Jakarta, 'Woz' speaks on truth, openness, business

Publication Date : 18-07-2012


In a long-awaited appearance, Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak spoke in front of ardent fans on the importance of openness for a person and for a company at the "Creativity and Innovation" seminar hosted by 3Ocean Live in Jakarta.

In his fast-spoken presentation, Wozniak remarked that his philosophy on openness and being truthful was embedded in the Apple products he helped fashion.

"Truth is the apex of all things good," he said, adding that he brought down the walls around him during his time in Apple, among other things by refusing to have a secretary screen his phone calls and keeping his phone number publicly listed.

In these days of digitally-mediated social interconnection, this spirit of openness also meant sharing his whereabouts and activities through Facebook and Twitter, as well as "answering as best as [he] could" the comments he received via the social networking sites.

"The Internet has brought us to that level," he said of the revolutionary communication platform, which he likened for its openness and its ability to tear down geographical divides. He said such an open space ought to be owned by no one.

He added that in today's world where a multitude of platforms exist, openness was what made open source systems appealing. "I'm very pro-open source," he remarked. Open source platforms, he said, enabled technologists - the term he used for software engineers - to dissect the building blocks of software programmes that would serve as inspiration to build better software.

"And those technologists are going to start companies with great ideas that will change our lives," he added.

However, he pointed out that a successful company did not only lay in the hands of technologists, but visionaries who motivate hand-picked employees in running the company.

For him, this man was Steve Jobs.

Although he said that he was Apple's No. 1 man, given that he coded software, he credited people like Jobs for making the company "so good, so healthy, so profitable" not only through clever marketing, but also via "beautiful" designs.

He said almost every product of Apple's "i" generation was representative of who Jobs was as a person. With a quivering voice, Wozniak expressed his longing for a friend whom he knew for five years before they started Apple in his garage in 1976. "I miss him very much and I wish he was still here."

Looking to the future, he noted that devices would increasingly become more intuitive, acting as eyes and ears built into even smaller devices that forego needless features.

He pointed out that he was not worried about the increasing competition Apple had to face as more Android and Windows mobile phones entered the market.

"The only thing I’m worried about is if Apple fails to make great products," he said.

He added that Jonathan Ive, Apple's lead designer, and Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO, had what it took to keep the company ticking because they were able to make products that adapted to their users.


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