Till date, this IS the best autobiography that I have ever read. It is the story of  Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computers who single handedly designed Apple II. There are so many aspects to the personality of Woz and takeaways from the book that it is hard to summarize in one post. Anyways, I will try to do so. So, here are my takeaways from the book

  • Create a group / Join a group which talks about technology
  • Before building a product, Spend a lot of time getting ready to build it. It could involve getting involved in small projects, reading around the subject, customers ,market, competitors, technology etc
  • Don’t bring commercial angle in to everything you do.Just pick up activities which you are passionate about and you will automatically be able to leverage the stuff at the right time. Luck favors the prepared mind
  • Creating things and getting recognized is the best way to socialize
  • One can experience FLOW in work – For woz it was building AppleII
  • Never pay a lot to buy stuff. Instead make it yourself. You will save on cost as well as you will have a invaluable experience building one
  • Having Fun is so so important while working on a venture / mini project/ mega project
  • Work Alone
  • Believe in yourself. Most of the people think about the world in black and white. However the world always is in grey. Test, experiment, iterate your designs / programs for you never know which one of them is going to be accepted by the people at large
  • Create games as they will teach you far more than a serious project can teach
  • Apportion your life’s free time in to a set of projects. Set the scoping, time lines and work on these mini projects with great intensity
  • Design Stuff – for great design is something key to the success of any product  / service
  • Engineer / Programmer is equivalent to an artist and he works best when he works alone
  • Learn by doing..Dont just read stuff..Whatever you read, see to it that you can do something on the knowledge gained from the reading
  • Engineering, not the glory is important
  • Compete with yourself and none outside you
  • Its easy to doubt yourself. If you believe in your logic, then just relax. Let not someone else influence you
  • Instead of predicting the future, create one

The ending of the book is a gem

The world needs inventors – you can be one. If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. And it’ll be worth every minute you soend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you wnat to design or build. It’ll be worth it and I promise

There are umpteen number of anecdotes and personal experiences of Woz that are mentioned in the book. Each of these anecdotes / experience are worth reading as it gives an insight in to the mind of a true engineer.
Its truly an engineer’s manifesto for life.