Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, was originally a very shy guy. In his book iWoz he writes, “Most inventors and engineer I’ve met are like me–they’re shy and live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists.”
Steve writes that, “artist work best alone–best outside of corporate environments, best where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee.” He does not believe that anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by a committee. Why? Because the committee would never agree on it.
Steve’s thoughts are perhaps against the mainstream that emphasizes teamwork and “innovation processes”. Steve promotes the idea of an engineer who thinks how to create the best possible end result with the fewest number of components. He says, however, that in his entire life he has only seen about twenty engineers who really exemplify that artistic perfection.
Steve gives his advice to “that rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist”. The advice is: work alone. He says that if you’re a young inventor who wants to change the world, a corporate environment is the wrong place for you.
“You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team. That means that you’re probably going to have to do what I did. Do your projects as moonlighting, with limited money and limited resources. But man, it’ll be worth it in the end.”
Photo: Gabe McIntyre
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