'Singapore far too straight-laced': Apple co-founder

Singapore is far too straight-laced, said Apple co-founder and engineering hero Steve Wozniak during a radio broadcast on BBC.

In the interview, Wozniak was talking about a counterculture ethos that was vital for creativity and how it had continued to influence Apple.

In his terms, a counterculture ethos meant letting people wear what they want to, reported BBC. What's important is creativity and not how one dressed or the length of one's hair.

Wozniak pointed out Singapore and its culture during his four-minute interview, saying that "Apple could never have happened in a formal culture in Singapore".

"Look at structured societies like Singapore where bad behaviour is not tolerated and can get you extreme punishments: Where are the creative people? Where are the great artists, where are the great musicians, where are the great writers, where are the great athletes?

"All the creative elements seem to disappear. Though, of course, everybody is educated and has a good job and nice pay and a car.

"Thinking for yourself is creativity and that's goes right down to what we were talking about dress, the clothing that you wear - you wear what you want to wear."

Wozniack also praised the college drop-outs at Facebook, Google and Yahoo! who challenged the 'big guys' in the industry.

However, he said that although Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs had a lot of liberal counterculture thinking, Apple was still rather conservative.

"We control things and have very little tolerance. For example, if an engineer tells a friend something then he's fired."


klim@sph.com.sg


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