Inventor Wozniak Tries Entrepreneurship

(p. 247) In a way, that happened to me. The US Festival was exactly the opposite of the Apple experience for me. It didn’t come easily. It involved having plans to get certain groups, and having those groups cancel. It involved having plans for sites, and having those sites cancel. It involved having plans for equipment, and having the equipment not come through. It was a costly battle to do all the right things, but we did them anyway.

I’d written a check. I had confidence in my people. I’d already taken a stand, and when you take a stand, you don’t back away from it. Sometimes this has been a big problem in my life–especially marriage-wise–but if I’m in, I’m in. I don’t back out. And by the time I could see this was a disaster, I had this guy, Pete Ellis, and all the people he’d hired, counting on me. I couldn’t just (p. 248) all of a sudden pull the rug out. And we’d already planned the date: the first US Festival would be the Labor Day weekend of 1982, right after my first year back at school.
. . .
(p. 255) I loved that first US Festival concert, and I knew I’d made so many people happy doing it. We thought from press reports that enough people–nearly half a million–had shown up. So we thought that would make us money. But we lost money, nearly $12 million, because it turned out we didn’t sell as many tickets as there were people.

Source:
Wozniak, Steve, and Gina Smith. iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006.

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