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Steve Wozniak at Government Summit in Dubai

Steve Wozniak

Co-founder of Apple Computers whizzes through a range of topics with enthusiasm at his session in the summit.

In less than an hour on stage at the Government Summit in Dubai, Steve Wozniak or The Woz — 64-year old electrical engineer who with his friend the other Steve (Jobs) co-founded Apple Computers — whizzed through a range of topics with enthusiasm, and with no modesty holding him back. “I always give honest answers,” he said.

“I never realized I was a genius till I was in high school,” said the Woz, who has a much-coveted three-letter website (woz.org) as he had that much of a head start on the Internet of things. “I knew my computer was so far ahead of the world, I wouldn’t give it away.”

While The Woz was an engineer who had a job, Jobs was apparently into “claymation” – making figures out of clay, which is how Pixar movies emerged. Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs when Jobs was only 16. “He was always trying to sell my ideas, he wanted to see them turn into money. I already had a job then. I was not the money guy. I was the technology guy,” he repeatedly stated.

“Steve did the business on the phone in his bedroom. I was the engineer, the lab guy. We wanted to show the world we had ideas.” While Steve wanted to make computers “packaged, friendly, and fun,” The Woz says he was the nerd. “You need breaks … you need jokes with friends. I was athletic back then.”

He spoke of his life always being on a direct path to build himself a computer. What does he do nowadays? “I do a lot of thinking about products.” He’s at a stage where he’s thinking of enterprise and data space, said the self-confessed champion at the Nintendo videogame, Tetrus.

His session at the summit was, besides being well-attended, probably the most popular in terms of audience questions asked. More hands were raised than questions accommodated at the end of the session. One woman even had a request for his autograph that he granted at the end.

When asked what price he sold his Apple stock for, the audience laughed, and he said plainly he couldn’t remember, but also adding the caveat that he hadn’t sold all of his stock.

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