Journal logo

Reasons Why Steve Jobs Was Richer Than Steve Wozniak.

by Noorain Hassan 2 months ago in humanity

#3 I met Steve Wozniak.

Photo by Jonas Svidras from Pexels

Apple was founded by two college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. The Steve males brought the new company to a brain wave of changing the way people viewed computers and less privacy-restricted androids.

The 20-year-old Jobs and Wozniak set afloat their shop in Jobs’ parents’ garage.

They had dead-tired money to begin, and that’s why Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen microbus, and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator.

Jobs and Wozniak made contradictory choices, eventually had very different outcomes.

One of the notable differences was the amount of money they had, but here is the thing…

They both did exactly what they wanted to achieve under the same roof.

They made choices that lead them to different conclusions in life.

I don’t think we can but Wozniak and job life gives us two comparing aspects to see who got wrong and who rocked the path and that demonstrates a key difference between the two.

Wozniak is an innovator, entrepreneur, and creator. He invents and does very diverse stuff — many inventors rely on businessmen to market their inventions at a profit.

And we think that was the case with Wozniak…

Steve Jobs was more of an entrepreneur who would take ideas and inventions from everyone ranging from their family to employers or street men he never knew. Steve Jobs searched what was lacking in people’s lives and how to solve them.

“Steve Jobs knew the way to reach people’s heart was to start from their brain.”

Steve Jobs then used to marketable things and would go out and sell them to the market.

Money is generated in the world, which makes complete sense why Jobs ended up richer — money, is not generated by pure invention, but with business connections.

Imagine that you invented the Mirror that adjusts the light according to the surroundings. You have enough materials to make a few automatic mirrors for yourself and maybe your friends. That’s great, but without the means to buy more materials, you can’t make very many more. However, your resources to build mirrors with sensors and the ability to sell them are limited to your small sphere of influence.

After all, you’re an investor.

If someone came along with more resources and a larger sphere of influence, they could make and sell more mirrors. However, unlocking more returns from the invention.

Woz’s invention of the Apple computer was wonderful. But, it took Jobs’ ability to manufacture and sell Apple computers that unlocked the value of that invention.

You can’t have one without the other.

Jobs and Woz were the better half, which led apple to achieve flying colors. One thinks, and the other gives a name to his thinking.

Both need each other, but the ability to unlock the value from an invention carries with the person who knows to sell his word…

  • People who are skilled at unlocking value are most likely to capture it because that is their skill.
  • Business people are good at making money because they practice it more often.
  • The inventors are good at inventing because they practice it.

The inventor will always be the less one to know the business tactics, and we think it’s rude. In the same way, they don’t end up with an equal amount of inventiveness.

Jobs would never be able to invent like Wozniak, and Wozniak would never be able to make money like Jobs.

Those are two completely different skill sets.

“So really, the catechism is why did Babe Ruth hit more home runs than Michael Jordan if both played baseball and were world-class athletes? Babe Ruth was noted at hitting home runs but never really engaged in basketball. Michael Jordan was a pretty stable baseball player, but he spent most of his life shooting a basketball.”

Their actions were different because their goals were different.

If you pay any consideration to Woz and Jobs’s life, the contrast in what they wanted to achieve was completely different — yet, both men largely achieved what they set out to do.

Both made a fortune in their chosen dreams. It’s just that one’s ambition is measured in wealth, and the other isn’t.

“This was the corresponding case with Bill Gates/ Paul Allen as their relationship was task-oriented. Woz and Allen were much better in their field, but soon they replaced all their abilities once the profitability was demonstrated.”

Top talented people do not usually want to shovel roots unless clear potential is demonstrated over time.

“Jobs and Gates were like bus terminal conductors. Jobs more so as Gates was absolutely brilliant as a coder.“

“The same story applies to Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore (who founded intel on the grounds of innovation). Robert Noyce label himself as an entrepreneur and visionary. Whereas, Moore did alright with the stock options in Intel, though.”

Steve Jobs was the genius marketing business-driven guy whose concept was ‘identifying’ & then “selling” insanely creatively designed products to the world.

Woz was all gifted proficient engineer who himself (unlike Jobs, NEVER even wrote a single line of code by himself or built Apple’s products) but built the products in his mind.

1) The Mistake why Woz couldn’t be a billionaire.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Woz did a mistake…

1980 Apple IPO shares indicate Wozniak owned at least 4 % of Apple’s share (way lower when compared to Steve Jobs owning 15% of Apple) as Jobs was the largest shareholder of Apple.

Apple’s earliest investor Mike Markkula (owning 12% of the company shares) was instantly sold by Wozniak himself FOR FREE to Apple employees & his friends pretty long ago.

This act of courtesy was reported in a 2014 business article to be worth US $8 billion if he would not have sold and, kept his shares even today without selling them.

Woz was not interested in making money when he could’ve enjoyed his lifestyle in luxury today as a billionaire.

When Apple was at stake!

We know when Apple strived financially in the 1990s decade with Dell’s co-founder Michael Dell mocking Apple’s poor sales performance and instead suggesting Steve Jobs for shutting down his company.

“The headlines emerged as Apple CEO Gil Amelio had a conversation about begging Jobs to save the firm back on track as they say the rest is history.”

Jobs went on becoming the CEO of his own founded firm, Apple saved from being a bankrupt company & propelled the company to new elevations with its creatively designed products.

Apple used lucrative advertising campaigns (especially with celebrities and in popular shows). Apple even surpassed its competitor Microsoft in 2011 as the most valuable tech company.

Steve Jobs was not only the face of Apple as he became the appearance of Pixar and operated the company via being Pixar’s major shareholder by funding it himself.

Pixar is an animation studio that produced financially successful animated driven films in limelight: Like Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 3 (2010), Finding Dory (2016), etc.

Pixar made Jobs spontaneously a billionaire during a period where Apple was financially about to go bankrupt.

Wozniak’s other business ventures other than Apple never chalked up as much attention as Steve Jobs association with Apple, Pixar, & then NEXT got so much fame.

2) The role of Steve Wozniak.

As much as I don’t want to sound rude, I know I will but …

Steve Wozniak “Woz” is nothing but an “Entertaining Character” from Apple history.

Sure he was avant-garde and was involved in the so-called “computer revolution” but the truth is, he never did anything important after that not to mention important…

I’m sure he’s a lovely guy and sure seems like it, but as a businessman so much the opposite of Steve Jobs, and not only made the company the most important in animated pictures, also changed the animated pictures industry forever).

  • (Re)created the MP3 player, with the iPod, (transforming the music industry forever).
  • (Re)created the mobile phone with the iPhones (product).
  • (Re)created the tablet with the iPad (substituting the computer industry forever.)
  • And again changed the music industry with iTunes.

Part of the grounds why Steve Jobs became a billionaire whereas Woz being just a millionaire (despite both Jobs & Woz together founded a company 41 years ago) was;

  1. Because money & fame mostly lies in selling rather than being indebted to the visionary of the product.
  2. Anyone can build a castle in the air, but one who puts the concept into the physical aspect wins all the game.

3) My encounter with Wozniak.

Quite recently, I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Wozniak (The Woz!) on air from my university and hearing him speak for over an hour through the live session.

I received an e-mail from my University:

“Dear Students,

In partnership with the Radio show, Circa 2006 and Iqra University are pleased to offer a free webinar to attend An Evening with Steve “the Woz” Wozniak this coming Tuesday, September 14 at 8:00 pm. Students are advised to join conference room hall by 7 pm.”

Wow! I couldn’t believe it. I sent an email to the event coordinator:

“The real Steve Wozniak…or like a professional con…?”

It was really him.

I have a real soft spot for Steve Wozniak. To me, he always seemed like the most genuine guy and this turned out to be 110% the truth when I analyzed him in a live video.

He talked in the most ‘stream-of-consciousness’ way I think I’ve ever seen.

Even though Woz was the most genuine, kind-hearted guy imaginable, he did not hold back when speaking about Jobs.

He spoke openly about Jobs — as extremely crude business tactics and behavior in the early days of Apple.

Woz had all the crack in the brain, and Jobs had all the business savvy. Jobs went from one tech firm to another trying to land a contract or find a way to make money.

Woz was a very employable, happy-go-lucky guy. He was very productive and had little desire for money.

Jobs was very quick on the trigger. Woz found enjoyment in everything, Jobs enjoyed winning.

Wozniak left Apple and Silicon valley entirely — to be a grade school teacher for 8 years. He felt personally compelled to give back and shape young minds.

Woz frequently donates his money and time to good causes. I’m not sure if it’s possible to wipe a smile off that guy’s face.

At the session, I wished I could practically drag him away from signing autographs for myself.

We even had a quick chuckle about the old blue box machines he used to make.

“I always paid for my own calls though! I firmly believe that’s why I never got in trouble.”

This happened nearly six months ago, but I remembered the type of person that Woz convinced Jobs to be.

During the 1-hour session, the audience is collectively drawn saying things like “ Jobs was like a clone of Trump!” ‘YOU’RE FIRED.’ Woz conveyed Jobs to be extremely ‘Trump-like”.

“Jobs was an extremely coarse businessman, insulting and berating his employees but Jobs never did those things to me though. I was always protected because of what I knew and how worthwhile I was to the company.”

And these events and behaviors led Jobs to be voted out of his own company. For a couple of years, he was downright vicious.

4) Final thoughts.

A blunt analogy: Steve Wozniak is like a wand with a one-hit-wonder, and Steve Jobs is like a wand with the greatest hits.

Don’t want to drift away from the question but … It’s like the guy who builds… Do you know who Tim Paterson is? (No googling) …

No? Tim Paterson is the original author of MS-DOS, which Bill Gates purchased for $50,000 and made him the richest man on the planet for many many years (I think still is today).

And in a way, Apple has a much more appealing and winning story than Microsoft.

“Sometimes I wonder about the thousands of ‘Wozses’ that never had their break or found their Steve and had something brilliant stashed in a drawer or a box in the attic…”


The original version of this story was published in another platform under a different title.

Noorain Hassan
Noorain Hassan
Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Noorain Hassan
See all posts by Noorain Hassan

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links