On the sidelines of CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla., this week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak revealed that he cheats on his iPhone all the time. Woz said he enjoys technology so much that he is just excited to get his hands on new phones to see what they can do – even if they are Android. And that Samsung phone coming out that has a folding screen? Woz said he can’t wait to take it for a spin.
Another big theme Woz shared centered on his passion for privacy rights and the need for companies to put people before profits. To that end, Woz said he made a personal decision to ditch Facebook and he never uses Google to search for anything on the internet. What search engine does Woz use? DuckDuckGo.
Perhaps the most surprising thing Woz shared is that he is not an over-the-top proponent of STEM education. Woz said the world only need so many people who are good at STEM and that those subjects shouldn’t be pushed on anyone. But when people are already passionate about those topics, they need to be empowered and allowed to go create on their own.
Woz did little to hide his disdain for Facebook. He wishes Mark Zuckerberg would remember that people matter more than technology and stop putting money before morals. Woz also urged Facebook to be more transparent and give users options for how their data is used and protected.
Woz says current Apple CEO Tim Cook is extremely good and keeps getting better. Woz is proud of the way Apple protects users’ rights and provides its employees with equal pay based on gender.
“Apple could make a lot of money on advertising, but they sacrifice that for human values.”
Woz is adamant that contrary to popular belief, Apple wasn’t founded in a garage. He also says people are wrong if they think he and Steve Jobs fought a lot.
Woz said Jobs was excellent about marketing Apple and himself, but that he didn’t really know much about computers.
Woz says he is not very political, but was proud to say that the only time he ever traveled to Washington, DC, for something political was to try to protect net neutrality. Woz made the trip twice and said he’d do it again.
Woz is not a big fan of artificial intelligence and joked that he thinks AI stands for “alien influenza.”
The pace of the advent of game-changing new technologies has slowed, according to Woz. But he is OK with that. “A lot of things about technology have come to bother us.”
When asked where he sees the next big tech disruption changing lives for the better, Woz’s answer was somewhat outside the tech box: traffic jams.
Advice for the next Woz
Woz concluded his session with some sage advice for young innovators: Know yourself, know your values and be a good person. Don’t just be trying to make money.