Last month I had the privilege of meeting Steve Wozniak, and hearing him speak on stage, at the Entrepreneur’s Convention at the ICC in Birmingham.
Unless you are a “techy nerd” you’d be forgiven for not recognising the name Steve Wozniak, however, there’s no doubt that you are all familiar with his work as he was the co-founder of Apple with Steve Jobs. As an inventor and engineer Steve Wozniak was very shy and as such, even though he was the brains behind the personal computer, he was never in the limelight.
What struck me about Steve was how humble he was, in a room full of entrepreneur’s he started by telling us how he hadn’t got his iPhone 6 yet (they had been released to the public that day) as he was on a plane coming over to England and hadn’t been able to queue for one overnight as he usually did. Now obviously Steve has other ways to get a new iPhone, but he is so genuinely excited about new technology the fact of queuing for a new phone along with everyone else adds to the anticipation.
As an engineer himself his Dad had taught him that is was an engineer’s job to invent things that made other people’s life easier. When looking at how technology was advancing in Silicon Valley Steve dreamt of having a “home computer”, his Dad had said that to build a home computer would cost as much as a house, Steve’s reply was “that’s fine, I’ll live in an apartment”. He had a defined goal which he set out and achieved. Without him our lives could be very different.
In the speech that Steve made, and in his book titled iWoz, he describes how in the first ten years of Apple Computers they only had one successful product, this was the Apple 2. The Apple 2 focused on helping business reduce the time it took to perform tasks.
But being the only product that was successful within Apple Computers buys a lot of failures over those first 10 years, however, neither Steve Wozniak nor Steve Jobs gave up.
As someone who only became an Apple fan (and they do have fans and not customers – but that’s a whole different blog) with the release of the iPhone, I hadn’t realised that they had many products that hadn’t worked.
As entrepreneur’s we are always chasing the next shiny object and sometimes those objects, full of promise, don’t deliver. Sometimes this is hard to take and our pride is hurt, however, as long as you know you have done your best, followed up and tried everything possible to make it work, then you should pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move onto the next idea, proud in the knowledge that you are going to succeed.
As Napoléon Hill quotes in Think and Grow Rich “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat”.
So next time you try something that doesn’t work, remember that every failure carries the seed of a new opportunity. Like Steve Wozniak you are an entrepreneur and entrepreneurism is a journey not just a job title.
Hope you have a great month – keep dreaming big.
To read the full November newsletter click here