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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: Motivation is more important than knowledge for achieving success

Steve Wozniak speaking at eMerge in Miami on June 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Steve Wozniak speaking at eMerge in Miami on June 12, 2017.

The most important ingredient to becoming successful is having motivation, says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

"Having a purpose, motivation — motivation is worth more than knowledge," says Wozniak says, speaking at eMERGE technology conference in Miami, Fla., Monday. Wozniak co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976.

"You can teach all the right things and that doesn't matter. If somebody is motivated and wants to do something, wanting — it's emotional. That's the person that is probably going to go out and find a way to actually get it done."

The Internet has made it possible for anyone with the willingness to seek information and gain skills, he says. It doesn't require a traditional academic path anymore.

Steve Jobs in front of a picture of himself and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
Photo by Bloomberg
Steve Jobs in front of a picture of himself and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak

"You can find so many answers in books but now you don't need books, you've got the Internet, so you just go on and explore. What are some of the resources that I might use? And what have other people done?" says Wozniak.

"A lot of people say, 'Well I have an idea but I don't have tools, I don't have infrastructure, I don't have parts to build something.'

"Well, you should bring that to yourself," he says. "[W]herever you are, anywhere in the world, you can order inexpensive kits and parts and — get yourself a Raspberry Pi," says Wozniak, referring to the small, inexpensive computer. "You can do an awful lot of useful things with it."

In particular, Wozniak says he has observed an impressive amount of passion to invent and make things in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

"Young people being inspired to be entrepreneurs is the most important thing for our world, in my mind," says Wozniak. "I am very hopeful because everywhere I go I see so much passion. I think people want to be in this world of developing new products that change our lives."

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