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Last week, New York’s Javits Center played host to the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing convention, the East Coast’s largest design and manufacturing event. IMET and TemitroniK both had a presence there — with gigantic LED boards in tow in what was a massive showcase for prototypers, manufacturers and designers alike.

The headlining act and keynote speaker was a legend to both hardware and software tribes.  Steve Wozniak, ‘The Woz’ to his devotees talked about a variety of subjects from Apple’s current attempt to capture the tech zeitgeist to hacking, DIY and maker culture:

I love the maker movement because we started [Apple] with a demonstrable product,with a prototype that was working. I was not just an engineer, I did the whole thing – I brought up ideas, drafted them on paper, I sat down and plugged chips into boards, tested every single wire.

Woz admitted that he still endlessly tinkers (these days with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis instead of Ataris and Apple I circuit boards.

You might go to Maker Faire and you see these things and you might think. ‘Who would want to buy that?’ But the people making it are getting the skills that could change their job in the future.

This is consistent with Woz’s decades-long take on creativity.  He says to make the thing you’re passionate about, and figure out the marketability later.  Or, in his words:

Your first projects aren’t the greatest things in the world and they may have no monetary value — they may go nowhere. But that is how you learn — you put so much effort into making something right if it’s for yourself.

A tinkerer’s mantra, if there ever was one.


Here’s some bonus periscope footage of Woz’s keynote speech, via @jeanprytyskacz