Woz recounts Apple’s origins, his own start in tech

The garage may be the iconic birthplace of many a Silicon Valley startup, but not for Apple.

The idea that Apple, like Hewlett-Packard, was started or conceived in a garage is a myth, said Steve Wozniak, the company’s co-founder, in an interview posted on YouTube on Tuesday. Apple had a “humble start,” and its founders worked out of a house, but they weren’t in the garage when they conceived or discussed products or talked about features for them.

“We did them a lot of other places,” said Wozniak, who’s popularly known as Woz. “But people thought we had a garage with people sitting around in it. No!”

Woz’s recollection of Apple’s humble origins is part of a longer musing on his start in the industry and on entrepreneurship. The video, posted on Tuesday, is part of a series called Formative that’s being co-produced by Reddit and Google Cloud Platform.

In the video, Woz recalls how a transistor radio he received as a young kid sparked his interest in electronics. A ham radio that he later assembled himself pushed him on the path to designing computers.

“This was an important thing in my life,” he said. After putting the kit together, “I was a little ham radio operator. They didn’t touch this stuff in school.”

He continued, “Nobody else knew this stuff, and I knew it!”

Woz goes on to describe his first bit of programming — designing a computer to play tic-tac-toe — and how he learned to design computers while still in high school. He also talks about how he couldn’t envision himself working with computers for a living, but stuck with it anyway.

“I enjoyed doing it. I said, ‘Whoa! This is going to be my passion for life,'” Woz said.

Woz then recounts the founding story of Apple, talking about how he learned to design a micro-computer, how he built the Apple I, his work with co-founder Steve Jobs and how he learned about the company’s first big order.

It’s an engaging take on Apple and Woz’s origins. Just remember, there was no garage involved.

Photo: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in a screen capture from the video interview co-produced by Reddit and Google Cloud Platform.

 

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