Experts in tech and tech enthusiasts alike know that there wasn’t just one “Steve” behind Apple. While Steve Jobs was the popular (and disruptive) face of the company, Steve Wozniak was the genius behind Apple’s earliest technology — most notably, the original Macintosh that was the key to Apple’s initial successes.
No stranger to innovation himself, Wozniak has made some startling assertions recently, stating that he thinks that the next big thing in tech won’t be coming from the company he co-founded—and in which he still owns a sizable amount of stock. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Canada,
Wozniak is betting that Tesla, and its CEO Elon Musk, will be the source of the next, great innovation.
“I think Tesla is on the best direction right now. They’ve put an awful lot of effort into very risky things,” Wozniak said. “They started with a car—the Tesla Model S—that made little sense in engineering terms in how much you have to build for what price and what the market will be.”
It’s precisely that kind of attitude that won Woz’s admiration. “I’m going to bet on Tesla,” he added.
Back in the day, Jobs and Wozniak didn’t always see eye to eye, but it’s not this largely unspoken conflict that made Woz bet on Tesla. More than anything, it’s the bit of Apple that Woz sees in Tesla now. “Look at the companies like Google and Facebook and Apple and Microsoft that changed the world—and Tesla included. They usually came from young people. They didn’t spring out of big businesses,” he said.
For the most part, it’s also because Tesla started with a product that Musk liked very much. Again, this is another parallel with how Apple started from a project Woz was building as a hobby. “It was really built for Elon’s own life. What car would he like? And when things come from yourself, knowing what you’d like very much and being in control of it… .that’s when you get the best products,” he explained.
Tesla and Musk have gone a long way from that first electric car. For one, Woz admires Musk’s latest boring project. Apple, on the other hand, seems to be suffering from a lack of innovative spark. This has led some to argue that Apple and Tesla might work better by combining their resources together — Apple’s money and Tesla’s innovation. However, Musk has already cast doubt on the proposal. Alas.