Saturday, September 25

Steve Wozniak : The Cool Dude who learns from his mistake

HBS Working Knowledge has an article about Steve Wozniak, the creator of Apple Macintosh. "The Apple II was a hit. The Cloud Nine universal remote was not. Here’s what Steve Wozniak learned about creativity, and what it means for his latest venture. An excerpt from Juice: The Creative Fuel that Drives World-Class Inventors.".

Steve Wozniak is considered a revolutionary in computing world; He along with Steve Jobs has started making Apple (the most sinful and sexiest computer) in 1976 before IBM+Intel+ Microsoft Trio came in to this world in a garage startup .

Many people wonder even though with such high standards in design & usability why Apple was not able to hit big as PC ? He has the answer...
We were also naive to think that the best technology would prevail. It often doesn't. Consider the tale of the 50-year-old Dvorak keyboard and the conventional typewriter. The conventional English typewriter was designed to be slow, to prevent key jams. The Dvorak, which arranges the letters in the most logical way, can improve typing speed by 10 to 30 percent and is much easier to learn. But it never took off, because people had already learned the standard keyboard. Like the Dvorak keyboard, Apple's superior operating system lost the market-share war.

Reporters and others have been asking me what I think about the problems at Apple. With such huge losses ($69 million in the most recent quarter), they figured I would be devastated. But I'm not. Apple is very much alive despite the serious mistakes and poor luck. What happened to Apple happens in corporations every day: losses lead to reorganizations, and finally recovery. Apple's troubles are just another example of how bad news can become a self-fulfilling prophecy: I read the papers to find out who I am, so I can be it. I read the papers to find out how ill Apple is so I'll know when to give up my Mac. I suppose I should have just told my partners to forget about starting the company. Who would ever think that the day would come when we'd sell 4.5 million computers in a year and be declared a company whose time has passed?

Wozniak is now enagaed with : a free exchange of information, the way it always should be. He lives in Los Gatos, California, where he teaches computers in public school. Read his old interview on Slashdot, where he speaks about Apple, Startups, Open Source & his passion - Education :

How do you see education making better use of technology and technology making education better?

Woz: Personal love is certainly the most important thing. To some extent, a teacher offers this, but only to each student 1/30 of the time. 30 computers could become like 30 teachers, but they have to become as personal as possible. They need realistic graphics like games have. They need realistic sounds. They should be voice operated, especially since very early elementary students can't type well. Every time a computer program gets more human-like, it attracts better student attention. But the software needs to be many times as deep as it is today in terms of a personality. It needs to be more like a real person, with many ways to present the same subject, backtracking intelligently, even to the far past, following a student through years of education. The programs should tell lots of jokes as well, and play occasional games too. Today the class presentation is fixed. Each student hears the same presentation in the same time frame. Then a test is given and the varable is the grade. But with 30 teachers, the presentation can be variable, with students going at different speeds in different courses. The student can pick their grade in advance, with the grade now being fixed.

It's too hard to predict that schools will disappear as rapidly as many stores and newspapers and other things of the physical world. Schools currently serve as a parking place for the kids during the day and, even when everything is available at home on the web, parents will still want their kids in a socially healthier environment during the day.