Case 4: Apple Computers
I. Executive Summary
Apple was formed by two college dropout students: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs with the motto of “Think Differently”. Wozniak, the true technical mind behind the building process of Apple’s early computers, spent the summer of 1976 building the company’s very first computer, the Apple I.2 Meanwhile, Jobs began creating advertisements and found a buyer for the computer. The two Steves were able to build and sell fifty Apple I computers—all from within the confined space of the Jobs family’s single-car garage. This would mark the first of many successful products to come from the company.
Later that time, Wozniak and Jobs began building the Apple II with the help of a few technically-savvy friends and classmates. It was at this time that Jobs first realized his true passion for the burgeoning computer industry. To fuel this passion, Jobs consulted with retired Intel Corporation marketing manager Michael Markkula regarding the possible future of Apple Computer. During this consultation, Markkula worked with Jobs in coming up with a solid business plan and even purchased one-third of the company for $250,000.
After the success of the Apple I and Apple II, the company began work on the Apple III, which turned out to be their very first project failure. The Apple III proved to be an early sign of disagreements-to-come between the president Michael Scott and Steve Jobs. In fact, Scott laid-off 40 employees after the Apple III’s failure—without any consultation or approval from the Board of Directors. Because of his abrupt actions, Scott was demoted to vice chairman, while Jobs was promoted to chairman. Markkula, who had originally hired Scott, took over as Apple’s new CEO. Scott officially resigned from Apple in March of 1981.
In the early 1980s, Steve Wozniak left the company and Steve Jobs hired John Sculley as the President of the company. After facing many failures, Apple launched its...