Steve Wozniak is an American engineer, inventor, programmer and technoprenuer whose contributions to technology pioneered the revolution of personal computers. He is the lesser-known founder of giant tech company, Apple Inc, but unlike the late most-known founder Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak’s net worth is far from billions and is estimated at a mere $100 million. Here’s why.
Steve Wozniak Net Worth: Brief History
Steve Gary Wozniak was born on August 11, 1950 in San Jose, California. As a kid, Steve had a knack for electronics and would always build workable devices from scratch. His love for computers as well as his efficiency in handling them developed as he grew. He attended University of Colorado Boulder but was expelled after just one year in 1969 for hacking into the college computer system. Wozniak then attended De Anza College and later University of California, Berkeley, where he finally graduated with an Engineering degree in 1986.
Before graduating from college, Wozniak had a 10-year stint at Hewlett-Packard where he worked on a mainframe computer. During this time period, high school student Steve Jobs landed a summer job with the same company, and it wasn’t long before the two Steves met and became friends through a mutual friend Bill Fernandez who attended the same high school with Jobs.
Steve Wozniak Net Worth: The Apple Computer
Wozniak and Jobs became closer and began working together. Wozniak built his first working computer prototype in 1975 and in 1976 he single-handedly developed the entire technology for the very first Apple laptop called Apple 1 in Job’s bedroom and garage. Apple 1 was the first laptop to use a keyboard and a normal TV screen for display. Together with Jobs and Ronald Wayne as the administrative supervisor, the trio on April 1, 1976 founded Apple Computer to enable them sell the computers. Jobs was more skilled in marketing than in tech innovation.
The successful sales of Apple 1 marked the beginning of a new status for the team. They sold each Apple 1 laptop for $666.66 with their first client being Paul Terrell who bought 50 pieces for his newly set computer shop named Byte Shop in California. The rapid sales of the Apple 1 made available more funds for Wozniak to intensify and develop his inventions. He then built the Apple 11 which became the first personal computer to use color display as well as the first mass-produced personal computer which enjoyed massive sale success.
Wozniak was inactive in Apple for two years from 1981 following a fatal jet crash of which he was the pilot. After recovering from injuries which included inability to create new memories, he returned to Apple in 1983, the same year the stock value of Apple soared to $985 million. However, two years later, Wozniak left Apple stating that the company was the “bane of his existence”. He sold most of his stocks but maintained a few, he also benefits from an annual paycheck of $120,000.
Steve Wozniak Net Worth: Post-Apple And Wheels of Zeus (WOZ)
It was after Wozniak quit Apple in 1985 that he went back to college to obtain an Engineering degree in 1986. He then taught computer science to children in the 5th – 9th grade and even teachers. In 1987, Wozniak founded a startup called CL 9 which developed and sold the first programmable universal remote control.
With the aim of developing wireless GPS technology, Wozniak in 2001 founded a venture called Wheels of Zeus (WOZ). He closed Wheels of Zeus in 2006 to form a holding company called Acquicor Technology with two other former Apple employees. The company acquired tech companies and startups with the aim of developing them.
Wozniak has offered tech advice to a number of companies including Scottevest. In 2009, he became the chief scientist Fusion-io, an Utah data storage and server company.
Steve Wozniak Net Worth: Recent Works
Beginning in 2011, Wozniak began delivering speeches at numerous technology summits and conferences. In 2012 he applied for citizenship in Australia. Sometime in August 2016, Wozniak went on a speaking tour in Australia. As of 2014, he became an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Wozniak from March 2016 became an Innovator in Residence at High Point University, North Carolina. In addition to his Engineering degree, he has received a number of honorary engineering degrees from schools in the United States and outside the United States.