Good engineers know how something is designed and can build it the same way every time, but great engineers find a better, cheaper way to do things, with fewer parts, said Apple Computers’ co-founder Steve Wozniak.
“What I like is to get rid of the waste and have the highest efficiency. Go straight from the source and have the fewest number of jumps until it happens on a physical device,” he said. “I love getting rid of wires — getting rid of parts.”
Wozniak is credited with many of the design innovations that paved the way for personal computing. He is currently acting as chief scientist for a technology company that specializes in solid-state data storage called Fusion-io, that he is predicting will revolutionize the architecture of computers.
Yesterday, he spoke to a lunchtime gathering of business leaders in Ottawa where he touched on the need for entrepreneurs to constantly be thinking of ways to improve their product or service.
Another crucial aspect of successful startups is the right chemistry between the technical and business sides of the enterprise.
In the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs learned to run every department of the company, while Wozniak focused on engineering.
“I wouldn’t even have started the company if I had to be a businessman. I just wanted to be an engineer in the lab with a soldering iron and an oscilloscope.”