Steve Wozniak suggests Tesla, not Apple, will create the next successful tech moonshot

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
Apple may not be the source of the next major technological moonshot, according to Steve Wozniak, with the Apple co-founder suggesting electric car producer Tesla is in the "best direction" to come up with the next big thing in tech, with Apple's potential in doing the same potentially hampered by its large size.




When asked in an interview with Bloomberg about who could make the next moonshot happen, Wozniak was hesitant about giving a definitive response before identifying Tesla as the company with the best potential. "They've put a lot of effort into very risky things," including electric cars, self-driving cars, and efficient transportation systems.

"They started with a car, the Tesla Model S, that made little sense in engineering terms in how much you have to build for what price, and what the market will be," advised Wozniak on the company's success. As for why it worked, Woz noted "It fit one person's ideal of this will be the most beautiful, elegant, and simple device to use."

"It was really built for Elon's own life. What car would he like, and when things come from yourself, knowing what you would like very much and being in control of it, that's when you get the best products."


Tesla and Apple have a considerable rivalry that has led to the two companies trying to lure employees from the other, such as MacBook Air designer Matt Casebolt moving from Apple to Tesla in January. Last year, Apple recruited Tesla's former VP of Vehicle Engineering, Chris Porritt, to work on "special projects."

Where Tesla has self-driving capabilities within its cars, Apple has also been rumored to be working in that direction as well. Known as "Project Titan," the secret project was earlier rumored to cover the construction of an Apple-designed car, but the rumors have scaled down the size of the project to in-car systems, with Apple recently found to be testing its own self-driving technology on public roads.

Aside from Tesla, CEO Elon Musk has also backed other transportation projects, including the high-speed Hyperloop transit system. More recently, he started up the Boring Company, a firm that aims to drill tunnels under cities to give an alternative transport network for commuters.

Later in the interview, Woz suggested the chances of major firms like Apple coming up with the next major breakthrough were slim, due to the risks involved. "Look at the companies like Google and Facebook and Apple and Microsoft that changed the world - and Tesla included. They usually came from young people, they didn't spring out of big businesses."

"They really came from new people who didn't know that what they were doing was so risky, and big companies don't want to take the risk."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    Makes sense too me.

    Although it's even more likely that the next major revolutions will come from companies that don't even exist yet.  
    baconstang
  • Reply 2 of 87
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,888member
    Of course, just more of the same from the guy who said Android was where it's at. Despite being a founder the guy is an anti-fan. For some reason he never got back to the game inside apple and since then has been a critic from the outside.

    As for Tesla, personally I find a car company less exciting than a computing company.
    edited May 2017 andrewj5790tmaymwhitewatto_cobracalipscooter63anantksundarammagman1979baconstangasdasd
  • Reply 3 of 87
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    Revolutionary things come from revolutionary people, and sadly Apple lost theirs having first fired him then got him back, there more one looks around beyond Apple fandom the more noticeable how intrinsic and inseparable dynamic leaders are to the companies they lead. What is Tesla if not Musk, what is Amazon if not Bezos and if this assertion hold true then what is Apple if not Jobs, how much of these companies is essentially the will and vision of these guys and can they be the same with out them.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 244member
    Woz seems to be seduced by the buzz, but the Musk initiatives remain very problematic from a business perspective.  Yes exciting, but still problematic. 
    StrangeDaystmaywatto_cobramagman1979bb-15baconstanganton zuykovjony0colinngSpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 87
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,888member
    holyone said:
    Revolutionary things come from revolutionary people, and sadly Apple lost theirs having first fired him then got him back, there more one looks around beyond Apple fandom the more noticeable how intrinsic and inseparable dynamic leaders are to the companies they lead. What is Tesla if not Musk, what is Amazon if not Bezos and if this assertion hold true then what is Apple if not Jobs, how much of these companies is essentially the will and vision of these guys and can they be the same with out them.
    It's nice rhetoric, but not law. Disney is still cranking out magic despite losing its founder. I'm sure there are others if you look for it.
    mwhitewatto_cobracalimagman1979leavingthebiggpscooter63jony0colinng
  • Reply 6 of 87
    if steve thinks tesla is so great, then why is he doing radio commercials for Chevy?
    StrangeDaystmayradarthekatmwhitewatto_cobracalimagman1979lostkiwipscooter63anton zuykov
  • Reply 7 of 87
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,618member
    This is why Woz needed Steve Jobs to run Apple. Woz is in now way visionary. He knows how to put parts and pieces together really really well...but no sense for the future. 
    tmayradarthekatwatto_cobracalimagman1979StrangeDayslostkiwibaconstangasdasdanton zuykov
  • Reply 8 of 87
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    I think electric cars are a big deal in many ways, but will probably never be all that terribly profitable for anyone. Nobody is in a position to really have a lot of market power there. Tesla might have been first, but many others are entering this market. General Motors beat Tesla to the punch with the Bolt (coming out before the Model 3), showing that Tesla's early mover advantage here is pretty much gone before Tesla can even turn a profit. 

    Self-driving cars will probably turn out to be the same -- a hugely important product for the economy overall, but possibly not a creator of big profits for any one company.  

    The thing that has driven Apple's success over the years has been innovations in how humans connect to computers (aka, UI). There is a lot of room to improve UI, and as more devices become computerized, there are more devices that require a good UI. Apple clearly views AR as an important next step in UI, and they're probably right about that. Eventually we will be looking at direct and seamless connections between the brain and a computer. I think Apple has a huge advantage in terms of branding for something like that because things like security and privacy will become incredibly important issues. You'd really have to be a total fool to let Facebook, Google, Amazon, or even Microsoft be the company that sells you that ability. 
    robin hubercaliStrangeDayswatto_cobrabaconstangpscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 87
    marty lkmarty lk Posts: 3member
    If Tesla can come up with breakthrough battery tech that allows electrons to flow as quickly as fluid and at the same volume, yeah, Tesla will be the next king of tech. The problem with electric vehicles right now isn't range, it's renewal. It takes way too long to recharge batteries. Less than 5 minutes to fill a tank of gas up. Over an hour to fully recharge a battery in a car. And here's another problem. Even if battery tech advances to 600 mile range with A/C and lights on, there's still this obstacle hindering them: run out of gas in a car and you can obtain a gas can full of fuel to get it going again. Run out of charge in an electric vehicle and you're stuck. Electric car makers need to also work on the electric equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can. [Just for information] I posted with two paragraphs, but the result shows one large paragraph. And this is a third paragraph. Maybe posting with an iPad isn't formatting correctly.
    edited May 2017 mwhitewaverboycaliRayz2016netmagemagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 87
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,618member
    I'm actually not sure why people praise Tesla as much as they do...I mean yes, they're making fully electric cars with all of this technology but their quality is horrible! For some reason, it seems like people are oblivious to this. They think Tesla is this wonderful company who makes electric cars, not realizing that Tesla is making really bad quality cars.
    edited May 2017 calimdriftmeyermagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 87
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,388member
    I think Woz's "next big thing in tech" comment is a horrible way to look at technology.

    Both Apple and Tesla are doing great things. I'm happy to have both of them as neighbors.
    StrangeDaysmagman1979lostkiwicolinng
  • Reply 12 of 87
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    holyone said:
    Revolutionary things come from revolutionary people, and sadly Apple lost theirs having first fired him then got him back, there more one looks around beyond Apple fandom the more noticeable how intrinsic and inseparable dynamic leaders are to the companies they lead. What is Tesla if not Musk, what is Amazon if not Bezos and if this assertion hold true then what is Apple if not Jobs, how much of these companies is essentially the will and vision of these guys and can they be the same with out them.
    It's nice rhetoric, but not law. Disney is still cranking out magic despite losing its founder. I'm sure there are others if you look for it.
    Man SrangeDays you enjoy posting on other's post but I'm great full you challenged my points instead of some dismissive and condescending comment, thanks.  


    To the excellent point you raise, true Disney is still cranking up the magic and Ford still makes cars, but when Walt ran things Disney created Mikey mouse and Lion king nothing recently comes anywhere close to those in endurance and cultural relevance, and there's nothing much to be said about morden Ford really other then they're still around. I'm not saying the death of the leader means the company withers and die, that would mean that those companies were not that impressive to begin with, Disney won't just die, Walts' efforts like Steve's were just too monumental and heculian to be so easily squandered, even by the most incompetent successor. what I'm saying is that these companies are never ever going to be the same as what made them so special was so closely link to the people who in many cases founded them, and lead them to great success and how that in many ways is the way of nature, like how there have been many musicians who've come and many to come still but there'll only be one Mickael Jackson
  • Reply 13 of 87
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,388member
    marty lk said:
    If Tesla can come up with breakthrough battery tech that allows electrons to flow as quickly as fluid and at the same volume, yeah, Tesla will be the next king of tech. The problem with electric vehicles right now isn't range, it's renewal. It takes way too long to recharge batteries. Less than 5 minutes to fill a tank of gas up. Over an hour to fully recharge a battery in a car. And here's another problem. Even if battery tech advances to 600 mile range with A/C and lights on, there's still this obstacle hindering them: run out of gas in a car and you can obtain a gas can full of fuel to get it going again. Run out of charge in an electric vehicle and you're stuck. Electric car makers need to also work on the electric equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can. [Just for information] I posted with two paragraphs, but the result shows one large paragraph. And this is a third paragraph. Maybe posting with an iPad isn't formatting correctly.
    1) Or if anyone can come up with it. Whomever can do it, and if the batteries are safe last a sufficiently long time then Tesla will likely adopt the tech, as well as CE makers.

    2) There was an excellent NOVA episode about 6 weeks back on battery tech. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch.


    3) I know it wouldn't come close to adding enough energy to a moving car, but I wonder if it would still be beneficial to integrate solar panels into the roof and bonnet so that some amount of energy can be generated whilst driving, idling, or just sitting in a parking lot during a work day.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 14 of 87
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,678moderator
    I've posted my vision a number of times here, and why I think it requires a huge company like Apple to bring it to fruition.  If only Woz had real vision, or would stifle himself on topics he's given little thought to.

    Anyway, here it is again...

    The car of the future is already here.  It's called a Smartphone.  Think about it.  If you were to clear the slate, look at the modern world and ask yourself, how would I design a transportation system given existing and soon-to-come technologies, like autonomous driving, real-time availability scheduling. Route optimization, etc, no way you'd conclude there should be a car, or two, in every garage.  You'd create a technology/software infrastructure to allow individuals to call up the transportation they need (car, truck, van, etc) on-demand.  And it would show up wherever they are, or wherever they are going to be, when it's needed.  You'd be able to schedule transportation in advance, like the airport shuttles of yesteryear that you'd schedule a week in advance. Über pretty much killed that business, I expect.  

    Or schedule recurring transportation, such as to take the kids to soccer practice and back.  In this case the transportation technology system might suggest a shared van service, that knows the schedules for local after school sports practice and offers up and constructs pick-up and drop-off routes based upon participation; a regular route to gather up the kids and deliver them.  Accommodation for security will be considered when children are being transported without accompanying parents, such as real-time tracking and a constant open line of communication, both audio and video streaming from the vehicle to parent's smartphones. 

    The specific vehicle that arrives can be determined by number of passengers, whether you'll be transporting something large or just yourself, etc.  The notion of owning, maintaining, accommodating parking requirements of, insuring, etc, a personal vehicle, for many people, has already begun to feel like 'the old paridigm.'  

    To create this infrastructure, you need route optimization software, that incorporates the real-time whereabouts of all vehicles in a local fleet. You need scheduling software.  You need to deal with remaining charge/range of each vehicle out in service to know when a vehicle can accommodate an additional requested or scheduled route without running out of juice.  You need to accommodate stand-by, where the vehicle drops someone off at a location and is requested to stand-by for an indeterminate time while the person goes into a store or bank to run an errand.  In short, you need a very sophisticated set of interacting technologies to accommodate smooth operation of a transportation network that provides near immediate responsiveness to a population's constantly fluctuating needs.

    If I were Tim Cook, this is exactly the way I'd envision the future, and this is what I'd set out to create.  It's not so much about constructing vehicles yourself, but about getting sign-in from all vehicle manufacturers such that their vehicles can work within the envisioned transportation network.  And that means that people who do own vehicles could lend them into their local autonomous transportation fleet in order to earn money (this has already been suggested by Musk and makes sense for a maker of vehicles to accommodate, as it helps him sell more Teslas direct to consumers).  It means that new rental fleets will simply be staged in large metro areas, with one or more depots that the vehicles come back to for recharging, maintenance, cleaning, etc.  And that means that there's a path forward for the rental companies, because they already have staging areas for their existing fleets.  The big picture can be accommodated during a transition phase from the world we have today to a world where almost all transportation is shared and autonomous.  

    Extend this to trucking, inter-city bussing, etc, and the whole thing becomes a future that Apple could play a major role in developing.  Without ever producing, on their own, a single vehicle.

    Also key to this is that everything Apple needs to do to revolutionize transportation does not require Apple to do any work on autonomous driving, nor does Apple need to build a single vehicle model.  Nope, Apple will want to own the end user interaction used to summon and schedule transportation, and it'll want to own the route optimization algorithms and server side scheduling and dispatch.  And take a cut of every ride.  

    There will need to be some tech in each car to pick up the user interaction that began on a rider's smartphone or Watch, once the car arrives to pick up the rider.  The car will need a voice interface to interact with the rider.  The car will need to constantly ping its whereabouts to the dispatch and scheduling servers, along with its charge level, so that the dispatch system can determine its next pick up and determine when it needs to exit the active fleet and return to a nearby depot for recharging or maintenance.  The car will need to contain sensors, like internal cameras, to monitor for left-behind packages, spilled coffee, etc, and report appropriately to riders or to dispatch.  The car will need streaming audio/video capabilities to stream to parents when children are riding without adult accompaniment.  All of this can be designed as a set of interfaces that automakers can implement in order to be compatible with Apple's dispatch and routing servers, and the vehicles might also be required to utilize Apple's mapping infrastructure.  

    Once verified as able to serve a ride request, the car is handed details on the location of the rider, and the rider's destination, and it can then utilize its own autonomous driving capabilities to serve the request.  And all of this can integrate both driverless and human driven vehicles into the same service.  So as vehicles are developed that are licensed for autonomous operation, these can be added to an existing Uber-like fleet of human driven vehicles, both serving together to form a centrally requested and directed/dispatched swarm serving a metrolitan area.  Eventually, the human driven vehicles would all be replaced with autonomous vehicles, and the future will have arrived.  

    edited May 2017 pscooter63
  • Reply 15 of 87
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,208member
    blastdoor said:
    I think electric cars are a big deal in many ways, but will probably never be all that terribly profitable for anyone. Nobody is in a position to really have a lot of market power there. Tesla might have been first, but many others are entering this market. General Motors beat Tesla to the punch with the Bolt (coming out before the Model 3), showing that Tesla's early mover advantage here is pretty much gone before Tesla can even turn a profit. 

    Self-driving cars will probably turn out to be the same -- a hugely important product for the economy overall, but possibly not a creator of big profits for any one company.  

    The thing that has driven Apple's success over the years has been innovations in how humans connect to computers (aka, UI). There is a lot of room to improve UI, and as more devices become computerized, there are more devices that require a good UI. Apple clearly views AR as an important next step in UI, and they're probably right about that. Eventually we will be looking at direct and seamless connections between the brain and a computer. I think Apple has a huge advantage in terms of branding for something like that because things like security and privacy will become incredibly important issues. You'd really have to be a total fool to let Facebook, Google, Amazon, or even Microsoft be the company that sells you that ability. 
    The Automotive business has always come down to manufacturing prowess. Tesla's innovation, packaging a big battery in a sporty car, has gotten him this far, but from hereon, it will be Tesla's manufacturing that will matter. There is tremendous diffusion of technology in the Automotive business, so Tesla won't even be able to count on having  the superior autonomous system. 

    More to the point, bicycle's are having a renaissance in urban areas, especially in Europe, and in first world countries, car ownership will likely be decreasing over time.

    Lot's and lot's of large battery manufacturing facilities going up in China. and world wide production will likely double by 2020. Panasonic isn't the only party to launch a "Gigafactory" for battery production. New battery tech may come from the Tesla/Panasonic partnership, but is as likely from others.

    As for Woz, his pronouncements aren't really a bellwether of anything. Woz was king when he was designing discrete logic circuits. That time has long passed.

    BTW, the next big thing is medical sensors/devices for realtime, personal monitoring. Disruption will come from some startup that we haven't heard of before, with something that we don't yet know that we want.

    caliStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 87
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    It's nice rhetoric, but not law. Disney is still cranking out magic despite losing its founder. I'm sure there are others if you look for it.
    That's up for serious debate, given that they've run out of sequels to shit out and home video re-releases to reprint are now just remaking all of their old films yet again, only this time they're political.
    magman1979
  • Reply 17 of 87
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,452member
    Okay Woz, we all love you but you’re an engineer, not a marketing genius like Jobs. Funny you don’t mention what the next “tech moonshot” will be. Don’t you know already? There are numerous examples of forward looking tech that didn’t make it in the marketplace. AT&T’s 1960’s Picture Phone comes to mind and continues to this day with FaceTime and Skype. Most people just don’t want to look at each other on a screen while conversing. Then there’s Glass and we all know how the public reacted to that. VR is another tech revolution that is sputtering. Engineers tend to forget about human nature and psychology. 
    magman1979dysamoriawatto_cobrabaconstangtofinocolinng
  • Reply 18 of 87
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,388member
    It's nice rhetoric, but not law. Disney is still cranking out magic despite losing its founder. I'm sure there are others if you look for it.
    That's up for serious debate, given that they've run out of sequels to shit out and home video re-releases to reprint are now just remaking all of their old films yet again, only this time they're political.
    Disney was smart to buy Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars. Their new GotG ride had lines reportedly up to 7 hours long. For me, that's hell—you could say that my primary focus for earning money and becoming successful early in life was to avoid having to stand in lines. So that's an entire day at hundreds of dollars for a family to ride one ride?

    Anyway, there's no shame in Disney purchasing successful companies for their characters. It's no different than Apple purchasing NeXT, Beats, Siri, and countless others to help further their expertise. 

    As for politics, there's always been a lot of buzz that Walt was a anti-semite, but there's also plenty of other evidence to discount that. At most, it would seem that he was a capitalist first and foremost.
    baconstang
  • Reply 19 of 87
    bwikbwik Posts: 551member
    Apple is a strong established company.  Its fans are the type of people who like strong, established companies and fear new things.  Apple fans today are completely different sorts of people than apple fans in 1997.  Even Woz has moved onto other things because he is the type of guy who likes new, innovative things.  Just sayin'. 

    Apple can keep its momentum for many decades.  I work for another company that is in a long, highly profitable death process.  The jobs are good and I am thankful for customers who don't think about the future or constantly search the horizons for new things.  That's most people.  I don't fault Apple for anything, I am just placing it in its proper context.
  • Reply 20 of 87
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 163member

    Woz you did great work starting Apple but what have you done of late other than shoot your Big Mouth off.

    Lets see your brilliant ideas....
    sockrolidmagman1979watto_cobratofino
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