I liked the book so much that I gave her this blurb for it:
Every engineer—and certainly every engineering student—should read this book. It is about the thrill of invention, the process of making the world a better place, and the purity of entrepreneurship. I, Woz is the personal computer generation’s version of The Soul of a New Machine. It is, in a nutshell, the engineer’s manifesto. I hope that the so-called “innovation experts” and MBAs choke when they read it.
The book is powerful because it isn’t the typical theoretical drivel written by an expert (that is, someone who can’t do but can write). Instead, the book takes you inside the mind of someone who was truly instrumental in one of the great revolutions of our time. After reading it, I was even more proud of having worked for Apple. For your enjoyment, here’s a list of the top ten things that I learned by reading I, Woz.
2. The Apple IPO made the most millionaires in one single day in history up to that point in time.
3. Woz and Jobs worked as Alice in Wonderland characters at a shopping mall in San Jose. [Steve Jobs doing this boggles my mind.
4. Woz didn’t return to the University of Colorado after his first year because he ran up too much computer timesharing costs.
5. Woz tried to call the Pope by impersonating Dr. Henry Kissinger. He almost got through except that the Vatican called the real Dr. Kissinger to verify the call.
6. An armed robber stole a blue box from Woz and Jobs in Sunnyvale.
7. Allen Baum alleviated Woz’s concern about leaving Hewlett Packard to start Apple by telling him, “You can be an engineer and become a manager and get rich, or you can be an engineer and stay an engineer and get rich.”
8. Woz lost approximately $12 million in each of the two US Festivals that he put on.
9. Woz taught computer technology to elementary school students for ten years.
10. The book ends with Woz’s thoughts on being a great engineer:
- Don’t waiver.
- See things in gray-scale.
- Work alone.
- Trust your instincts.
Remember the joy of Woz when an “expert” tells you that you need to conduct market research, run your design past focus groups, and set up offshore development. His advice is applicable to any small business, and if you listen to him, you’ll be fine—if not dancing with joy.