Steve Wozniak to give UC Berkeley commencement speech
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is giving the commencement speech Saturday at UC Berkeley, his alma mater. He talked with ABC7 News about what wisdom he will impart to the graduates.
The key words are "might say" because the Woz, as he's known, says his speech is still ideas just floating in his brain right now. Cal tried to get him last year for commencement, but this year, they booked him far in advance.
Wozniak doesn't write speeches. Instead, he says he prepares notes that will trigger stories and experiences he wants to share.
"To be profound I would have to write every single word to get it very accurate," he said. "Hemmingway one of my favorite authors, but you can take a long time, and I don't even have the time to try to be profound, and you still might miss, so be yourself is the first key."
Wozniak graduated from Cal in 1986, but his diploma bears a fictitious name -- Rocky Racoon Clark. He was a known pioneer in Silicon Valley, so this helped to conceal his identity. It may also have given him some freedom to be a prankster.
"I was sort of a leader of a group coming up with pranks and little kinds of minor bad behavior in a way," he said. "The funny thing it was always exploring systems to see what I could do that I wasn't supposed to be able to do."
So what will the Woz tell the class of 2013? He says he'll reach back to his Cal days when he was a pacifist.
"It came to me very much during days I'm reminded of being at Berkeley and being pacifist, and its brawn vs. brain," he said. "You grow up using your muscles, power and overpowering other people to tell position in life, to get money, to get power, to run companies and be big politicians. Or do you use your brain and think out better ways than we had before, and I decided when I was young, I wanted to be on the brain side."
And he thinks those who create new technology have a far greater impact than politicians.
"Every war in my lifetime has brought us nothing; it never, it couldn't possibly bring us more happiness the way iPhones do, and I'm going to basically wind up saying the technology leaders today are more important than the Presidents," Wozniak said.
The Woz says he has given about 20 commencement speeches, even at elementary schools. And almost every day, he says he gets an email from someone thanking him for influencing his or her life.
steve wozniak, apple, uc berkeley, business, david louie
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