A few years ago, I hosted a group of guests for a lunch with guest speaker Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc. This was an exciting event, reportedly selling out within twenty minutes. There was a buzz around Brisbane that morning and long queues for the latest iphone.
Steve Wozniak is undoubtedly passionate, and a brilliant inventor. He told his story with energy and enthusiasm, challenging even the experienced veteran MC. For me, one of the important lessons from Steve Wozniak’s story, is that technical brilliance is not enough.
Steve Wozniak invented revolutionary products that have changed the way we live. However, by his own admission, he was not a businessman and had no desire to be so. Steve Jobs took Wozniak’s inventions and turned them into marketable products. If the two Steves had never met, Wozniak could have spent his life tinkering away in the garage and Apple may never have been born.
There is a myth about the hero inventor - a lone genius and a Eureka moment. Reality, though, is rarely this way.
For every Steve Wozniak, there are a million people who spend a lifetime creating fantastic ideas that go forever undiscovered. Beyond designing technical solutions, we need to create business value and most importantly make human meaning.