Steve Wozniak: Star Trek Inspired The Founding Of Apple

This weekend marks the second annual Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC), which was created by Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee. TrekMovie was there last year for the inaugural event, which set the record as the largest event ever hosted in the San Jose convention center. 

In an interview with HuffPo promoting the con–which will include an appearance by a number of stars from the Star Trek franchiseWozniak said:

Star Trek had done so much for me. I’m not sure I would’ve had the inspiration that I had to ever start Apple, and do all these technical things and I don’t think I would’ve had the meaning in my life if I hadn’t gone to Star Trek conventions when I was young, and had a car, and could drive to Southern California to attend them. I mean, that was … these were such important things to me, I want to duplicate that with the Comic Con, that other people can, who like that sort of thing, that experience is just worthwhile.

Later in the same interview, Wozniak talked more about why he started SVCC and again invoked Star Trek, this time tying it into his own sense of morality:

I grew up being inspired by those sort of things, like I said, going to Star Trek conventions, concerts in my life. I still do that as much as I can. Don’t close yourself off to having fun. If you’re worth something, it’s very likely to come your way. Some kind of level of success. But that should never be your end goal. Like you mentioned before, some of these characters, like on Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s all about being good people morality-wise, and my ethics have been extreme my whole life. I would never, ever do anything somebody could call me, “You’re unethical” or “You’re trying to make something off of me” or “You’re trying to deceive me.” No, that is so important to me, to be doing things for a good reason.

Apple has become the biggest publicly traded company in the world since its founding in 1976, and is currently valued at over $750 billion, and much of that success is due to the company making Star Trek tech into reality.

Woz’s Trek fandom goes back decades

This may be the first time Wozniak has so explicitly talked about how important Star Trek was to him and how it related to his co-founding of Apple with Steve Jobs, but it’s hardly a secret that he’s a fan. In his autobiography “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It,” he describes his life as a young man in the early 70s, shortly before founding Apple:

I was still dating [first wife] Alice [Robertson], still living in my first apartment in Cupertino, still coming home every night to watch Star Trek on TV and work on my projects.

In the same book, he talks about how the first program he ran to test his version of BASIC for the Apple I computer back in 1976 was the Star Trek text game. And he even credits Star Trek with how he met his second wife, Candice Clark, recalling the story of how he bought tickets to a Star Trek film in bulk for Apple employees and she came to him to ask for “a bunch.”

In 2012 Wozniak had an opportunity to share the stage at a tech conference with Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy, where he recalled a story from 1979 of how he used a badge from a movie theater he owned to sneak into the theater that had the first midnight showing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture:

Star Trek At SVCC

Silicon Valley Comic Con runs this Friday through Sunday at the San Jose Convention Center. It will feature appearances and signing opportunities for a number of Star Trek stars. From the original Star Trek series both William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols will be there. And on Saturday there will be a 30th anniversary Star Trek: The Next Generation panel moderated by Shatner and featuring Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Denise Crosby and Robert O’Reilly.

Promo image for TNG panel at SVCC

More info on SVCC and tickets can be found at svcomiccon.com.

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7 Comments on "Steve Wozniak: Star Trek Inspired The Founding Of Apple"

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I might head up there and just wonder around watching the cos play like I did last year. There was a guy in full Gandolf mode walking out to the pedestrian crossing when the light was red for the cars who stood there and yelled, “You shall not pass!!” each time the red showed.

Hey, Woz, you might want to rethink your “You’re trying to make something off of me” comment as being unethical. You’ve made a mountain of money from the company and products you’ve helped create, which completely contradicts yourself. Now, that’s nothing to apologize for, actually, as long as you can go to bed at night knowing your company is a good corporate citizen, and you’ve given back from your abundance. That might be a better way to put it….

I think he was trying to say exactly what you are describing.

He is One of the Few Founders of the Personal Computer Generation ! Woz Is The Wiz !!

Mr. Wozniak: you’re a visionary of iconic proportions.

Thanks for the music festivals of the early 80’s. Did

you ever retain ownership of those events and if so

could you someway – somehow sell me a copy from

83 of Heavy Metal day – the entire day – Wow!

Powerful endorsement of Trek.

And specifically the science/tech aspects of Trek.

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