Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak may have built a technology empire , but they didn’t share quite the same opinions on money, Wozniak told former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki in a podcast interview published Wednesday. Woz said that while he never really cared about money, Jobs was fixated on making it big.
“Steve wanted to be important, and he had zero money,” Wozniak said. “So he was always looking for little ways to make a next step in money, [and] he wanted to be that important person in life. And this was his big chance, because now he was founder of a company with big money being put in.”
When the company took off, Wozniak says Jobs’ personality changed. He no longer wanted to play pranks or joke around. Instead, he wanted to talk business. “He got kind of strict,” Woz reflected.
It didn’t come as much of a surprise, though. From the day they met, Jobs was always talking about important people like Shakespeare who’d changed the world.
“Because he talked about those people all the time, he wanted to be one of them, and he felt he had it,” Wozniak said. “He had the motivation, and sometimes wanting something is a lot more important than having the real skill.”
Woz, meanwhile, was content with being an engineer at HP during Apple’s early days and wasn’t even sure if he wanted to leave to work exclusively at Apple.
“I had told everyone I knew I was going to be an engineer at Hewlett Packard for life because I loved it and I didn’t want to ever be corrupted by big money,” Wozniak said. “I’d read too many stories that were not the person I wanted to wind up being.”
But Jobs wasn’t having it. After Woz turned down working only at Apple, Jobs called Wozniak’s relatives and friends and told them to talk to him until he was finally persuaded.
Woz said he’s still an Apple employee, and is the only person who’s received a paycheck from the company each week since its start. Still, after money is taken out for savings, he says he gets no more than around $50 a week in his bank account after taxes.
“It’s small, but it’s out of loyalty, because what could I do that’s more important in my life?” he said. “Nobody’s going to fire me. And I really do have strong feelings always for Apple.”