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‘Independent thinking at the root of innovation’, Apple co-founder

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he relied on individual thinking 'which turned out to be efficient'

  • Steve WozniakImage Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • April 24, 1984 file photo, Steve Jobs, left, chairman of Apple Computers, John Sculley, center, then presidentImage Credit: AP
Gulf News

Dubai: Young people need to be able to think independently if they have to be innovators, said Steve Wozniak, inventor and co-founder of Apple Inc.

“As a child, I relied a lot on my individual thinking and it turned out to be very efficient,” Wozniak said.

“It’s important to have that motivation to come up with ideas that have not been discussed before. I call it writing a book, instead of reading it.”

Wozniak was speaking at the third session of the Knowledge Summit in a discussion on technological innovation.

Wozniak,  who reeived his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley in 1986, was the brains behind the "kit computer" that eventually became Apple I.

Wozniak ("Woz") built his first computer when he was 13 years old, and was an electronics prodigy in high school.

At 19, he met 14-year-old Steve Jobs and the two teenagers built an electronic "blue box" enabling them to hack the public telephone network and make toll-free calls.

“Curiosity is in-built,” said Wozniak. “Teachers play an important role in bringing out this creativity [in students]. Being creative is not about answering the right questions in an exam; it’s about being different,” he said.

Steve Jobs
April 24, 1984 file photo shows, Steve Jobs, left, chairman of Apple Computers, John Sculley, centre, then president and CEO, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, unveil the new Apple IIc computer in San Francisco.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, another speaker in the panel discussion, said the UAE is on a race track with no finishing line when it comes to introducing the best technologies that will ensure the happiness of its people.

“Our goal is to be smart and sustainable and we are continuously working towards those [goals]. At the municipality we have developed services that have reduced the number of visits to it by 80 per cent. I see a world where everything is done using electronics,” he said.

When asked about the future of cities, Lootah responded that he would like to see cities without cars.