Woz calls Steve Jobs ‘Trumpish,’ says we shouldn’t worry about robots taking over

“Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s wide-ranging discussion Tuesday night at Carnegie Music Hall before a sellout crowd as part of the American Middle East Institute’s 10th Conference touched on his pioneering role in the personal computing industry, his thoughts on Steve Jobs, and why he’s not worried about robots taking over humankind anytime soon,” Paul J. Gough writes for The Pittsburgh Business Times.

“Wozniak is no stranger to Pittsburgh, having come here early in his Apple career to visit Pittsburgh-region teacher Milana “Mim” Bizic and her husband, as well as local computer clubs,” Gough writes. “And he’s come to know Pittsburgh in another context later in life: His son graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science.”

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (photo: Jonathan Alcorn)
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (photo: Jonathan Alcorn)
“‘It comes down to brains and books and not the geographical place you’re in,’ Wozniak said,” Gough writes. “Wozniak had criticism for Jobs, who he co-founded Apple with in 1976. Jobs, he said, didn’t understand computers inside and out and was prone to making mistakes about them, citing the Apple III and Lisa computers, as well as the early versions of the now-iconic Mac. ‘Everything Apple tried without me failed,’ Wozniak said to applause.”

MacDailyNews Take: That is certainly true until about 1986 when the Macintosh begat the desktop publishing revolution.

“He also noted that Jobs treated a number of Apple employees badly, including members of the Mac team that vowed never to work for Jobs again. ‘There are so many stories you don’t know about,’ Wozniak said,” Gough writes. “Jobs said nasty things about some people, Wozniak said. ‘Very Trumpish,’ Wozniak said… He said Jobs came back to do great things at Apple in his second time at the company… giving the world the iPod, iTunes and the iPhone.”

“He discussed the evolution of his thinking about whether robots threatened humans. He no longer thinks that robots will spell the end of jobs or humanity, that instead they’ll evolve to help humans live their lives better,” Gough writes. “‘If there is any danger, it’s decades off… I think, centuries off,’ Wozniak said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What Woz did at Apple was brilliant. He’s a singular engineering talent.

Apple aficionados, if you haven’t read iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (2006), we highly recommend doing so – it’s much more satisfying than the cardboard-like recitation that comprises Steve Jobs’ official biography.

Steve Wozniak to speak at ‘AI Deep Dive’ event on October 22 in Las Vegas – August 24, 2017
Happy 67th birthday, Woz! – August 11, 2017
Woz: Apple’s iPhones are priced very high because they are worth it – July 19, 2017
Apple co-founder Woz to headline luxury 24-day cruise to Antarctica – July 6, 2017
Woz on Apple Watch: ‘I just love it. I love every time I use it. It helps me. I love it so much.’ – June 14, 2017
Woz: Robots won’t soon take over most jobs – May 23, 2017


    1. Given Mr. Trump’s — shall we say, lack of inhibition — about expressing his opinions about his critics, the position of his fingers seems singularly appropriate.

      Out of the 16 Republican choices, he was my 17th-ranking choice, but as a religious, freedom-loving American, voting for Clinton was just not on the radar. Let’s continue to hope that, like Jobs – who I can testify from personal experience was something of a jerk; “Trumpish” is not too extreme – Mr. Trump benefits from the abilities of those around him who can overlook his lack of interpersonal skills and focus on the worthwhile goals that have been set.

        1. Re Botty:
          Hillary of Wall Street was NOT a Liberal by any means- she is a Corporatist, Neo-Liberal, Warmonger. Many Progressives and Liberals ( not the same thing) did not vote for her- part of why she lost.

          The Clinton cabal took over the Democratic Party through the now disbanded Democratic Leadership Council and moved it to the political right, embracing policies more akin to traditional Republicans (not NeoCons- who have taken over the Republican Party). The abandonment of the working and Middle Class has a good deal to do with the whole Trump spectacle and phenomenon.

          I am a Bernie Sanders supporting Independent Progressive and enjoyed watching the angst filled faces of the Clintonistas on TV. Did not vote for Trump or Clinton- I see them both as grifters and stand by that evaluation. Just as Trump is proving very different from what was promised, I knew Hillary of Wall Street was not what she was selling herself to voters.

          Early in his life Steve Jobs was an asshole. Getting fired from the company he founded and going from Wunderkind to Has Been humbled him and his experiences at NeXT and Pixar reshaped him.

          Trump is just a self entitled asshole who was born on Third Base and thought he hit a triple.

        2. Indeed. You left out the part about war hawk Hillary’s warmongering MO: She advocated the overthrow of the secular and stable Kadaffi and let in Jihadists to give them a safe haven as well as to disrupt N. Africa. While she was a Wall St. darling, the dominant spy agencies such as the NSA and CIA also supporter her because her voting and policy record was nearly always for increasing their budgets.

        3. @DavGreg:
          I see you failed to mention even one of Bernie Sanders’ non-lucid ideas. My personal favorite was his proposal to “shut down Wall Street, investigate it, then give all the money {invested in stocks) back to the people because it’s their money anyway”. Wow.

          Now, as for what the DNC did to Bernie by intentionally deciding to coronate Hillary before the primaries started: that was inexcusable. Basically, the DNC/Debbie Wasserman-Schitz (yes, I did that on purpose) chose to subvert the will of the people by providing no support for Bernie, and exclusive support for Hillary. The lack of indignation from the media was overwhelming.

  1. Jobs was great, however on his own without Wozniak there would be no Apple as we know it now. We should all be grateful to Wozniak for being a good friend to Steve Jobs who was a difficult person

    1. Without Jobs, Woz would have been a forgotten engineer at HP, who early computer buffs vaguely remember for giving away some interesting ideas at the Home Computer club.

      Without Woz, Jobs, a total hustler, visionary, marketing genius would have found some other engineers to jump into the PC revolution that Jobs knew was coming and had strong ideas about.

      The evidence of this is that Jobs had to virtually force Woz not to give away all his ideas and to quit HP to form Apple.

      More evidence is that when Jobs took over Pixar, taking advantage of raw talent, built it up into a powerhouse than in about a decade that did a reverse takeover of Disney, in an industry completely knew to Jobs.

      Jobs never had any trouble finding smart talent. That was one of his skills. If it hadn’t been Woz, he would have found other people to execute his ideas.

    1. Yes it is. But there’s no question that in his early days, Jobs was by all accounts exactly that type of abrasive personality.

      The difference is, Jobs got humbled, got experience, and actually matured before coming back to lead Apple a second time.

    2. Woz should have said ‘Jobish’ not Trumpish, as Jobs, according to Woz, “Jobs said nasty things about some people”. Both men abhorrent in their language, but Jobs didn’t need Trump to be that way and Trump became president how many years after Steve Jobs death?

      It’s just Woz being typical Fake News asshole, because you just know, Woz would never label Jobs early love life, fatherhood, etc, as ‘Weinsteinian’ and we all know it!

  2. I’ve often drawn the same comparison. Trump lacks the finesse and tack that we expect from leaders, but his agenda is what really matters. Sometimes you have to put up with the bad aspects in order to achieve the greater good. In this case, some will argue that Trump’s agenda is anything but “the greater good.” Others would argue that a pro-America, nationalistic agenda is necessary to save America from becoming a country defined by socialism and globalism.

    Too bad the Democrats and establishment Republicans in Congress are succeeding in blocking the will of the American people.

    1. “Too bad the Democrats and establishment Republicans in Congress are succeeding in blocking the will of the American people.”

      You have that 100% backwards. The will of the American people elected Democrats and establishment Republicans to represent them at the local(ish) levels, and the majority of the American voters who turned out DID NOT vote for the current president.

      The will of the majority of Americans is absolutely being carried out at the House and Senate levels.

  3. There would be no Apple without S. Jobs. There definitely would be an Apple without Woz.

    Why? The homebrew club was full of Woz like geeks. He was no special person. Out of all that came Atari, Commodore, Sinclair, Acorn with computers that were better than what Woz had. All those guys had a Woz equivalent. But none of them had SJ.

    Woz was not the special ingredient. Woz was fortunate to be with SJ. What dis Steve get for that, a kick in the teeth after he was dead.

    Woz made nothing when Steve was not around him. Woz made nothing since Steve came back to Apple (The Apple of which Woz was not a part of). On his own he is useless. And I further predict Woz will make nothing from today to the day he dies.

    No company is rushing around to hire Woz. Not today, not even in the past. In the past he was there because of Jobs….no other reason.

    Can anyone imagine how many companies would be after SJ if he was alive today. Every company would want SJ to be CEO if he was still around. I cannot imagine anyone not wanting him. Woz on the other hand is wanted by none.

    Lastly when Woz says Steve knew nothing about computers…I let Steve answer that himself…

    1. Here is a quote I found from Woz…

      “The Macintosh failed, really hard, and who built the Macintosh into a success later on? It wasn’t Steve, he was gone. It was other people like John Sculley who worked and worked to build a Macintosh market when the Apple II went away,” Woz said.

      If that doesn’t prove to people how deluded Woz is nothing will.

      I reiterate….Woz has done nothing away from SJ and will not achieve anything more from today to the day he dies.

  4. I attended the event. Wow was very harsh in his words about Steve. Covered more ground about jobs than the reporter wrote. Talked about the Atari bonus that Steve didn’t fully share as well. Questioned how Steve could do that. He did enthusiastically endorse Steve’s products from iPod on.

  5. Jobs ≈ Trump.
    I don’t think so.

    Regarding the Robot Rebellion… I think Jobs wouldn’t worry because he’d make dead sure robots remained user-friendly tools of mankind. That’s what they should be. Delusional mad scientists need not apply.

  6. The Macintosh was a hit right out of the gate. Sales took off immediately. There was a brief slowdown during an industry wide contraction (which also killed the PCJ) in 1985 and hurt all PC sales. Mac sales were slowed by being overpriced to avoid cannibalizing Apple II sales. That was the main battle between Sculley and Jobs. Jobs knew (correctly) that the Macintosh was the future and propping up the Apple II was a losing proposition. He also knew the Laserwriter was coming, and that Desktop publishing would be a revolution. Jobs tried to get Sculley to lower the price on the Mac and lost in a power struggle (with Woz stabbing Jobs in the back in favor of Sculley). Sales of the Mac took of the next year after the industry downturn faded, Sculley cut Mac prices a little and the Laserwriter (which Jobs was responsible for) came out. The Mac was Apple’s future, but Sculley screwed it up trying to protect the Apple II sales (remember the Woz special addition?) and also by continuing an over priced policy. He (and Woz) almost ran Apple into the ground before Jobs came back to save it. For more early Mac history, and some laughs, check out my free iBook:


  7. Can you imagine having to deal with people like Woz who, while genious, lack the absolute vision to impliment much of anything accept eating pizza? Jobs was the visionary who understood all.

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