So, just what does it pay when you are the co-founder of one of the world’s most famous, most valuable companies?
Try $50 a week. At least that’s what Steve Wozniak says he makes.
Even though Wozniak hasn’t had anything to do with Apple’s day-to-day operations for more than 30 years, the guy who created the Apple II, the personal computer that really got Apple going back in the day, says he is still an Apple employee.
“I’m the only person who’s received a paycheck every week since the start of the company,” Wozniak said during an interview with longtime Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki on Kawasaki’s “Remarkable People” podcast. Wozniak added that after taxes, he gets “about $50 a week or something” put into his bank account.
Wozniak said that the reason his still stays on the Apple payroll is simple.
“It’s out of loyalty,” Wozniak said. “Because what could I do that’s more important in my life? Nobody’s going to fire me.”
In addition to revealing his weekly Apple pay package, Wozniak had a lot to say about the early days of Apple, and how the company’s growth changed his friend and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Wozniak said that it was the differences between him and Jobs that gave Apple the spark it needed to get off the ground back in the mid-1970s.
“Steve was very complementary, and not similar (to me),” Wozniak said. “I had a lot of values about disdaining money. I had the computer skills, the engineering skills. Steve had electronics knowledge, to a decent level. He could understand us (engineers), but he couldn’t design things. He hung on to the marketing principles — how do things look to the eye, that kind of beauty. And turning my design, the Apple II, into a product,”
But Wozniak, who said he agonized over his decision to leave his job at Hewlett-Packard to devote himself full time to Apple, said that Jobs had no doubt about what he wanted to achieve with their company.
“From the day we met, he was talking about people who changed humanity forever,” Wozniak said. “He wanted to be one of them. He wanted to be that important person in life. This was his big chance. Now he was founder of a company. That’s a title.”
And Wozniak said that along with that title came a change in Jobs’ personality, as he turned his back on the pair’s easy-going ways.
“His personality changed the day that he was founder of a company with big money,” Wozniak said. He had been a fun guy, [would[ go running off to concerts with me, chasing concert paraphernalia, driving around, playing pranks. We had a lot of fun times [and[ he all of a sudden disdained that,” Wozniak said. “[He] didn’t want to talk about jokes, fun, kid things. Only [in a] business suit, talking business talk, learning how to speak it. He got kind of strict and wanted to make sure the world got a message, That all the computer thinking came from him.”
Still, Wozniak said Jobs’ new personality didn’t bother him, or have an effect on what he wanted to do at Apple.
“I didn’t care a bit,” Wozniak said. “He was kind of like the smartest person in the room. Steve was getting what he wanted. I got what I wanted, [which was] a lab to run into even late at night. I was very much allowed to be the inventor.”