Thanks to the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Iaasacson, we all know some crazy things that happened in the life of one Apple Co-Founder; but what about Apple’s employee number 1, Steve Wozniak? “The Woz,” as many people like to call him, single handedly built the revolutionary Apple I and created the conceptual foundation for the personal computer.
I had the pleasure of communicating with Mr. Wozniak a few weeks ago. The experience left an unbelievable impact on my life and drove me to learn more about his amazing career. Throughout my reading, I discovered a few facts that I never knew about this legendary engineer.
1. Woz has been an engineer since high school
When Woz was a senior in high school he built an electronic metronome that gave him his first run-in with the law. He was sent to a juvenile detention center after he used his device to pull a practical prank. During his freshmen year at college Woz burned up so much computer time that his university almost billed him. Once you’re a geek, you’re always a geek.
2. He quit his job at HP to become the Vice President of Apple
Every entrepreneur knows that during the bootstrapping stages of your startup you’re going to need a part time job. The easiest way to do this is to get a job doing what you love, so it’s no surprise that Woz had a job at HP. The irony is that HP and Apple would be competing in the marketplace for decades to come.
3. Woz was not too familiar with Revelations
The original Apple I sold for $666.67, a price that shocked many because of its relation to the mark of the beast. No need to worry though, Woz is anything but the devil. When asked about the price he said he had no idea about the correlation and that he just “likes repeating numbers.”
4. He survived an airplane crash
Woz not only helped build the largest technology company in the world, but he also survived an airplane crash along the way. In 1981 Woz was injured after a premature liftoff from Santa Cruz Sky Park. For a while, shortly after the crash he had no recollection of the incident, but over time he eventually regained his memory.
5. Woz is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame
It’s no surprise that Woz joined the likes of Henry Ford and other great minds in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Yes, you read that right: there is a National Inventors Hall of Fame; and it’s probably the coolest hall of fame in the world. Woz is accredited for creating the personal computer and was inducted in the year 2000.
6. Woz is an active Foursquare user.
If you checkout Woz’s Foursquare profile you’ll notice that he has over 1,100 check-ins, 27 badges, and 11 mayorships. Among his mayorships are IHOP and Outback Steakhouse; two of his favorite places to eat. Several days ago Woz checked-in to a cemetery and joked “checking it out for a possible residency.”
7. Woz is a man of Integrity
Out of everything on this list I believe Woz’s integrity stands out the most to me. The fact that Mr. Wozniak took the time to speak with me says a lot about his character and integrity. People of Woz’s socio-economic status often tend to lose sight of themselves in fame, fortune, or power; but Mr. Wozniak is an exception to this stereotype. Steve takes the time to interact with fans on Facebook and often posts riddles and jokes on his Timeline. Aside from his down-to-earth attitude, Woz also gives back to his community by funding and providing technical support for a technology program in his local school district.