Future Planning

How Did Apple Succeed? This Legendary Co-Founder Says the Best Things He Did Were the Result of No Money and Limited (If Any) Experience

The Apple co-founder on the power of bootstrapping. And of choosing yourself.
BY Tribune News Service TIMEAugust 15, 2022 PRINT

By Jeff Haden,
From Inc.

In 1977, Steve Wozniak worked for Hewlett-Packard. It was his dream job. “It’s my job for life,” he once said.

But that didn’t stop him from exploring other pursuits: In what might be the most impactful side hustle of all time, Wozniak spent nights and weekends designing all—yes, all—the hardware and software for what became the Apple II computer.

And he did it without formal training. Even though he had never taken a single course, he managed to create his own operating system. Even though he didn’t have a hardware background, he managed to create his own floppy disk reader.

As Woz said:

When the time came and I had to get (something) done, I would design my own, fresh, without knowing how other people do it.

That was another thing that made me very good. All the best things that I did at Apple came from (a) not having money and (b) not having done it before, ever.

Every single thing that we came out with that was really great … I’d never once done that thing in my life.

Woz didn’t let a lack of (certain) education stop him. He didn’t let a lack of connections stop him. He didn’t let a lack of money stop him. He simply did what he could with what he had.

In hindsight, he saw those constraints as his competitive advantage.

And so did other people. “We had a guy that designed the Macintosh,” Woz says, “and he was the same way. He’d never gone to college, but, boy, he just studied circuits that had been done by others and just became that good on his own.”

Just as important, Woz didn’t wait to be selected. He didn’t wait to be somehow “chosen.”

To paraphrase Seth Godin, Woz chose himself. As Godin says, “Once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.”

Opportunities to be responsible for pursuing your own ideas. Your own agendas. Your own work. Your own success.

Choose yourself, and you can start your own business. (No matter how old you might be.) Choose yourself, and you can create your own products. Build your own network. Attract your own funding.

You can do almost anything you want. Even—especially—things you’ve never done before. The only thing holding you back is you and your willingness to try.

(c) 2022 Mansueto Ventures LLC; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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