Stephen Gary Wozniak, is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur. In 1976, he co-founded Apple Inc. with business partner Steve Jobs, which went on to become the world’s largest information technology company by revenue and the world’s largest company by market capitalization. He is widely regarded as a key pioneer of the personal-computer revolution due to his work at Apple in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite his successful career, Wozniak was not a fan of money. Let’s find out why.
Steve Wozniak, despises money and large wealth accumulation. He stated that he does not want to be near money because it can corrupt his values. When Apple went public, Wozniak offered early Apple employees $10 million in stock.
How Did Wozniak Start his Career?
After being expelled from the University of Colorado Boulder in his first year for hacking the school’s computer system, Wozniak returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1969.
In 1971, he re-enrolled at De Anza College in Cupertino before transferring to the University of California, Berkeley. Wozniak designed and built his first computer with his friend Bill Fernandez in June of that same year. It was for a self-taught engineering project. They named it Cream Soda after their favorite beverage. Although it predated useful microprocessors, screens, and keyboards. It used only punch cards and 20 TTL chips donated by an acquaintance.
The computer was destroyed when a newspaper reporter stepped on the power supply cable, but Wozniak saw it as a good prelude to my thinking 5 years later with the Apple I and Apple II computers. Before joining Apple, he worked for Hewlett-Packard, where he designed calculators. During this time, he dropped out of Berkeley and became friends with Steve Jobs.
Fernandez, who attended Homestead High School with Jobs in 1971, introduced Wozniak to him. Jobs and Wozniak became friends during Jobs’ summer internship at HP. At the time Wozniak was also working on a mainframe computer. (Source: Britannica)
Wozniak’s Philanthropic Journey
Wozniak assisted in the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1990, providing some of the organization’s initial funding and serving on its founding Board of Directors. He is a founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet, and the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has provided all of the funding, as well as extensive onsite technical support, for the technology program in his hometown of Los Gatos. Wozniak’s organization, Unite Us in Song, which he founded to organize the two US festivals, is now primarily tasked with supporting his educational and philanthropic projects.
Wozniak’s name was given to the Stephen G. Wozniak Achievement Awards in 1986, which he gave to six Bay Area high school and college students for their innovative use of computers in business, art, and music.
Wozniak is the subject of Camp Woz: The Admirable Lunacy of Philanthropy, a student-made film produced by his friend Joe Patane’s nonprofit Dream Camp Foundation for high-need youth. (Source: Leaders In)