Engineering | Entrepreneurship + Innovation

Steve Wozniak, the Thomas Edison of his time, told several hundred students at Arizona State University on Wednesday to create products they “desperately want” and that “motivation is more important than knowledge.”

The Apple co-founder and personal computer pioneer came to ASU as a nod to National Entrepreneur Week and gave an impromptu talk to about 400 students in a courtyard outside an engineering building on the Tempe campus.

“A man who truly needs no introductions,” Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Dean Kyle Squires said before Wozniak’s remarks. “He single-handedly invented the personal computer.”

Students sat on the ground and up in trees to hear Wozniak discuss the secrets of success, happiness and learning for an hour and a half. His impact on their lives was evident: laptops bulging in backpacks.

“I stumbled into computers by accident,” Wozniak began. “I decided early in life I wanted to be an engineer. … In high school we didn’t have computers, but we had great teachers.”

When he was in high school, he raided libraries at Stanford University for everything he could find on computers. “The smartest people in the world don’t lock doors.”

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