Not everyone can launch a ground-breaking business, but Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, has direct experience. He recently spoke to hundreds at Rutgers University on this topic.
Many large companies often develop new technology, he said, only to follow up by making minor, cautious changes to the product, with a focus on market protection, not innovation.
â€œApple is sort of the exception,â€ said Wozniak, an engineer by trade. â€œApple is coming out with totally new disruptive technologies that take the world in a new direction all the time, so itâ€™s a very unusual story, where normally those avenues are being closed off.â€
When asked [if] he had any other advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Wozniak said it was better to have a working, â€œdemonstrableâ€ model of a product or service â€” as he and Jobs did before they began to sell the Apple I computer â€” before putting money into a venture. He also said it was important to be able to handle rejection, as Appleâ€™s founders did before their products ultimately found a market.
â€œDonâ€™t worry if other people are going to be contradictory and say, â€˜No, this is not how itâ€™s done,â€™â€ Wozniak said. â€œYouâ€™ve got to move in the direction that you know feels good. If itâ€™s really different and disruptive â€” thereâ€™s no formula for whatâ€™s good and whatâ€™s it bad.â€
Photo by Robert Scoble