Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heading Up North with Steve Wozniak

One of the best parts of summer is spending time at our Lake Huron cabin, in the Northeastern part of Michigan.

We Michiganders refer to this as “Going Up North” and most weekends you’ll find me, the banjo, Ethel the dog, and any other family members who can spare the time heading North on I-75 to our little slice of heaven.

Most of those road trips are spent listening to an audio book, usually whatever one strikes my fancy at our local library. 

I’ve been on an autobiography kick the last year or so, and just finished listening to iWoz, Apple Founder Steve Wozniak’s engaging biography from 2006.

iWoz is an engaging look into the mind of a technical, naturally curious and enthusiastic mix of artist and engineer who played an integral role in one of the great revolutions of our time.
There’s a lot about the electronic engineering behind those early Apple Is and Apple IIs, entire sections devoted to schematics and documentation of chips, CPUs, microprocessors and command language. 

(I must admit, I skipped a few of these sections, especially while driving over the Zilwaukee Bridge.)

Key Takeways
Yet the book has a lot to offer in terms of key lessons learned in life and business. Here are a few of the main lessons:

  1. If you’re not having fun in life or work, do something else.
  2. Love what you do.
  3. Be loyal, but be smart.
  4. Don’t take others too seriously.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

A quote from the book that illustrates some of these lessons - 

“I hope you're as lucky as I am. The world needs inventors--great ones. You can be one. If you love what you do and are willing to do what it really takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise.”
Steve Wozniak, iWoz

Bigger Ideas
In all, the book offers more than a marketing or business “how I did it” perspective, and shares ideas that are bigger than engineering, Apple, personal computers, technology, and entrepreneurship…a good read, if you haven’t discovered it already. 

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