IDF 2008: Apple co-founder keeps it real

Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak has urged developers to keep doing what they love, even when others may not agree or back them.

In a somewhat off-topic session, the computer giant's co-founder took the stage on the final day of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) to talk about what spurred him on and how he's always been happy to be the brains rather than the face of the operation.

An inspiring character to developers and non-developers alike, Wozniak used his Q&A-style stage time with Tech Nation host Moira Gunn to set the record straight on a number of issues, including insisting his innocence in the great iPhone queue jumping scandal of 2008.

"I never use my higher discount and I don't ever ask for products for free," he said, before tackling the subject of some journalists who suggested he pushed in when it came to getting an iPhone.

"And the second time I [queued] as well and I did not cut in line despite the press who said I did!"

A self-taught engineer who had an amazing appetite for manuals when young, Wozniak encouraged developers to listen to their hearts rather than other people when it came to doing what they love.

"You're not getting the visible rewards and grades in school. Your reward is invisible. It's what you like to do. The important thing is to know your goal," he said.

His self-determination is something he clearly tries to pass on to others, including the assembled IDF contingent.

"If you know what you're good at and you're reasons for doing it are right, you have to shut [everybody else] out and say I don't care,'" he said. "I don't have to convince everyone else in the world to be like me. I'm happy with who I am. I don't have to be unhappy because I can't convince the world to be for or against something."

Wozniak also credited his father for helping him early on. "When I had a question he would go on a blackboard and explain it to me," he reminisced. "He also knew to start with the basics. He went in a step-by-step level, which is the way we best learn. He also impressed a lot of really good values on me."

But despite co-founding such a computing monolith, Wozniak maintained he has always been happy being more of a background man.

"A lot of times you be what you want to be in life. I did not want to ever run a companyI wanted to be an engineer for life. Steve had these dreams of being one of the great people that has companies and makes products that change the worldSteve has that one mind that controls the products that keeps them that good."

He added: "I'm happy. I've been at the bottom of the org chart of Apple since it started!"

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.