Woz: “Work Alone”

photoI had the opportunity to meet Woz last week. Many thanks to UNT Student Development for bringing him in for the Distinguished Lecture Series.

I’d read his book recently and could relate on some levels and was just blown away on others. One thing that I really liked that isn’t so popular in the Agile world. Woz was an artist. He had a vision and he worked hard to make what he envisioned and wanted.

He gives powerful advice in his book to: work alone. It’s not that simple, but you can read the book to get the full message. But he relates it to art.

Art is not created by a committee. It isn’t determined by a focus group with feedback groups. More artists aren’t added to the project to speed it up.

I believe often times more developers on a project brings complexity. It requires much and clear communication, shared vision, trust and so many things that, of course, then requires a good manager. Again, additional complexity, communication and shared vision. Putting together a team… a good team to fulfill this is tough.

Of course, there are serious drawbacks to only having one person on a project. But it doesn’t mean one person has to do absolutely everything. Even Woz used existing chips and someone else created the case, etc.

Fortunately, I was able to meet with him and thanked him for his thoughts in the book and his time sharing it. He reiterated the thoughts and importance and how it went through their products like how they make the computer AND the OS and they work together well.

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