Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a big deal, idolized by Apple fanboys everywhere. He has also never listened to a Kanye West record. Back in June, Kim Kardashian got Wozniak to autograph a pair of Apple computer mice for Yeezy as a birthday gift. In a just published profile in New York magazine, Woz shared more details about their meeting, including his obliviousness to West's Grammy winning music.
The visit came out of a cold call from an eight-months-pregnant Kardashian, hoping to concoct a birthday surprise for Kanye, a longtime Apple fan boy. Not that Woz—Silicon Valley's sunniest emeritus figure, a genial geek godfather man-child who rides around Los Gatos, California, waving and grinning on his Segway and makes a point of dining with fans and reading every Facebook message he gets—knew who the tabloid-fixture couple was. “Oh my gosh, I don't watch TV. I'd never seen her,” says Woz, who, indeed, rode up to meet me on a Segway (and then continued riding past me, grinning and waving, somewhat obliviously). “I just admired the fact that she was doing this for somebody she loved—true love, you know?” As for that somebody, “I've never heard his music, to tell you the truth. I don't know if I like it or not.”
Wozniak had previously revealed that they had a two hour conversation about some of Yeezy's business ambitions but was relatively mum on the details. This time he offers more insight, including mentioning Yeezy's shyness.
Kardashian went into labor early, he says, just after Woz and his fourth wife, Janet, drove down to L.A. But she insisted her visitors come to Cedars-Sinai anyway, telling them, “ ‘Let's leave Kanye and Steve alone, because he's real shy.' And he doesn't look at me for the first twenty minutes or so; he had an aversion,” says Woz, who's not too great on eye contact himself. Kanye perked up when Woz told him about a device to foil paparazzi photos, and soon they were talking about Kanye's octopus-armed org-chart business plan. (He's been describing himself lately as the heir to Jobs.) “My advice would probably be pick one narrow category to start with, do it so well you own that category, and then one bowling pin knocks over other bowling pins,” says Woz. “What is the path to get there? Thank God I'm not a businessman—I can't really be expected to have the answers.
Considering Woz was the engineer being Apple, this is a guy worth listening to.
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