The History of Apple Computer
Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak became friends in 1971. Wosniak was 21 and Job, 16. They belonged to a computer club where hobbyists build computers from kits. In 1976 Jobs convinced Wosniak that they might make a few dollars if they built a computer they could sell. Wosniak went to work. Although the machine was fairly simple, it was nevertheless a masterpiece of design, using far fewer parts than anything in its class, and quickly earning Wosniak a reputation as a master designer.
Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop (which sold Atari games); the proprietor said he would be interested in the machine, but only if it came fully assembled. There were many kits that required being soldered together, but an already-assembled computer could reach a wider market. The two Steves and their friends went to work in Job’s parents’ garage building these Apple computers.
Jobs eventually met Mike Markkula who co-signed a bank loan for $250,000, and the three formed Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. The name Apple was chosen because the company to beat in the technology industry at the time was Atari, and Apple Computer came before Atari alphabetically and thus also in the phone book. Another reason was that Jobs had happy memories of working on an Oregon apple farm one summer.
The computers sold quickly. Steve Jobs began to realize that they might be able to sell many computers so he went to various companies (including IBM) asking for financial backing. IBM turned Jobs down because he showed up in a tie-dye shirt and jeans; he didn’t fit the IBM culture of blue suits. Also, IBM didn’t believe that there would be a market for small computers.
By 1978, Jobs, Wozniak, and Markkula were each worth over $250 million.
The next big computer change was the Macintosh. It was announced to the press in October 1983. During Super Bowl XVIII (January 1984), the Mac became well-known because of a...