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Business View: Innovation is at the core of Steve Wozniak's credo

It's quite a day when the man who helped develop the technology behind the modern computer rolls into town. To those in the technology know, Steve Wozniak is not just an inquisitive inventor with a good knowledge of algorithms but one of the founding members of a company which changed way we work and interact for ever.

If you're more than five feet away from an Apple product while reading this you're more than likely in a minority.

But Woz, as he's known, doesn't seem to believe too much of his own hype and brought with him to the Noribic conference in Londonderry a refreshing attitude to business.

He believes we need to rail against the received knowledge of the last few years which has placed risk aversion as the central plank in good business. Instead he wants us to embrace risk and use it to drive our businesses to new heights.

He wants us to let young people take the lead when it comes to innovation and tosses out the idea that experience is more vital than energy.

In a previous interview he talked about how we all need down time to "play" and be creative so we can have the light bulb moment which might lead to the creation of the next Apple.

As a hard-nosed business person, you could easily dismiss what Mr Wozniak says, especially given it comes after five years of post-recession austerity.

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But if you think about it he's right.

The best business ideas I've come up with have been on holiday (albeit they haven't exactly set the economy on fire) and the most innovative ideas on the business desk have come from work experience students who aren't weighed down the fear of what could go wrong.

We salute your savvy, Woz, if only we had time to take heed.


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