By TAYMOUR MOWAFAK
Whenever someone encounters an Apple product, the first person likely to come to mind is Steve Jobs, who is seen as the face of Apple. According to iSteve: The Book of Jobs, Jobs’ autobiography, Steve Jobs worked for Atari in the early 70’s and received his first major assignment in 1972, which was designing his first game. Jobs, having very little knowledge with soldering and wiring, called his college friend Steve Wozniak and asked for his help. As Wozniak worked on the game “Pong” for him, Jobs looked around Wozniak’s house and found something that triggered his mind. He spotted his friend’s personal computer and began to have thoughts in starting a business. The two friends then started producing Apple computers from Steve Job’s garage in Palo Alto, California. In the so-called production line, Wozniak would solder the capacitors and major parts, while Jobs would focus on testing and packaging the Apple I keyboards. Since then, Apple has kept growing, from changing the world of personal computers with the Macintosh in the 80’s to inventing the iPod in the 90’s. Though both founders have put time and effort into the company, Jobs has received plenty of credit for Apple’s success, while Wozniak seems to be less of a public figure. UHS student Ali Shelton (Sr.) commented, “Steve Jobs was known as the marketer for Apple, the man who convinced people to buy the product, but on the other hand, Steve Wozniak was the real brain behind everything. Although many in the computer world know this, many people disregard Wozniak.”
I believe Apple would not be in its current state of success without the help of both engineers. Steve Wozniak was critical in the creation of Apple, yet Jobs usually receives most of the credit. It was more of a personality issue here, with Jobs able to communicate with clients and an audience while Wozniak focused on the technical work rather than publicity. However, Steve Wozniak deserves more credit, and the public eye should acknowledge his success and efforts. His lack of credit seems to be the result of media undercoverage since many saw and knew Jobs, as he was the one who would present the innovative products and talk in front of the audience. Kenny Situ (Sr.) said, “Wozniak would run the show behind the curtain. Jobs would display and share Wozniak’s work in public.” In fact, when Wozniak was asked by the Milwaukee Business Journal about his experience working with Jobs, he said ”Some of my very best friends in Apple, the most creative people in Apple who worked on the Macintosh, almost all of them said they would never, ever work for Steve Jobs again. It was that bad.” Jef Raskin, who replaced Steve Jobs during the Macintosh era, commented on Jobs in the Gates Interview by saying, “He never had any designs. He has not designed a single product. Wozniak designed the Apple II. Ken Rothmuller and others designed Lisa. My team and I designed the Macintosh. What did Jobs design? Nothing. Jobs’ only contribution to the Macintosh project was to try unsuccessfully to cancel it.” Steve Jobs took over the Macintosh era in 1981, and Raskin stepped down.
No matter what many people say about Jobs, Apple would not have made cutting edge technological improvements without his mindset and brain. Under the reign of Jobs in the 90’s, Apple produced the greatest devices ever, including the iPod and iPhone. Now, with Steve Jobs gone, it is up to Tim Cook to steer the ship and continue Apple’s success.