Apple co-founder Wozniak: Steve Jobs’ deal made me cry
A NEW documentary about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs reveals that he reduced his business partner Steve Wozniak to tears.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told BBC Radio 4 this morning that the company he set up with the late Steve Jobs stood out from the relaxed Californian counter-culture due to Jobs’s corporate aspirations.
He told Evan Davis, who also presents tonight’s BBC Two documentary Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy, that Steve Jobs had always wanted to run people and be seen as an important thinker, and developed a conservative streak as Apple’s success grew.
“I was so close to Steve Jobs I could never really see the transition,” Wozniak said. “I just wanted to be in engineering only – I never wanted to run a company, never wanted to run things, step on other people – Steve very clearly did, and wanted to be a top executive and a really important thinker in the world.”
The comments align with the ruthless image of Jobs presented in the TV documentary. Jobs, for instance, tricked a young Wozniak into writing code for a computer game but pocketed the majority of the payment for the project from Atari himself. Wozniak admits on the programme that he cried when he heard about Jobs’s scam following the release of a book on Jobs.
“He was always focused on ‘if you can build things and sell them you can have a company’ and ‘the way you make money and importance in the world is with companies’,” Wozniak said. “He wanted to be one of those important people in the world.”
“He got the business side. But he did tie it in philosophically with ‘this is how you get good things to people’. It wasn’t ‘I only want money.’
“Any company when it becomes public and becomes bigger becomes different. Politics seep in. The company goal for Apple [after the success of Apple 2] was not to change the world, but to increase the value for shareholders” Wired writer Steven Levy said on the documentary.
Talking to Davis on the radio this morning, Wozniak also acknowledged a lack of tolerance in the Apple culture.
“Apple does a lot of conservative [things] – we control things – and has very little tolerance…Even if an engineer told a friend something and it got out… you’re fired!”