UK technology firms need to do more to foster creativity among their employees in order to drive innovation in the market, according to Apple co-founder and chief scientist of Fusion-io, Steve Wozniak.
Great products come from experimenting and pursuing natural curiosity, he told delegates at IP Expo in London, explaining how his former employer HP used to promote experimentation which led to the creation of the personal computer.
"I was very lucky because I was working at HP and there were principles laid down by the founder. One was that an engineer could go in at night and have access to all the parts and tools they needed and build things of their own design, if their supervisor approved," he added.
"Nowadays most companies close everything and there is no way you can do anything on your own. They'll pay thousands of dollars to have you go to classes at various universities, but it is much better education to allow them to build something of their own design for themselves."
He said companies need to let employees' natural abilities come through organically as this leads to better work and more contented staff.
"When someone builds something for themselves they are going to work hard and develop their mental approaches towards designing other products, which will be to the benefit of the company," he said.
"The things that are in your heart that you love will drive you to do much better work than any salary could."
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