Apple Foundation. that was the story — 2022
Today, Apple is undoubtedly one of the most important multinationals in the world, both in terms of market volume and stock market value. All the technological giants have a beginning that in certain occasions may not be the most glamorous as happened to Apple. In this article we tell you
Steve Wozniak, the computer genius
To talk about how Apple was founded, you certainly have to start with the childhood of one of its founders: Steve Wozniak. The Wizard of Woz, as he liked to be called, was born in 1950 with a gift for computers. At an early age he created a machine that allowed addition and subtraction. This may seem relatively simple today, but in 1950 computing and how to create intelligent machines were still being explored. His studies took place at Barkeley where he studied computing.
Wozniak was dedicated to designing different circuits on paper and then trying to put them into practice. This was undoubtedly the great trigger to be able to take his knowledge to other minds such as his neighbor. Bill Fernandez . Both Wozniak and Bill tried to create a first personal computer together, which ended up being a real disaster. This inconvenience caused Steve Jobs and Wozniak they met in 1971 so we can start working together on a new personal computer. Steve Jobs was no electronics scholar, being Wozniak himself the one who taught him everything he knew, really starting to work on what would be the Apple Lisa I.
It is important to note that Steve Jobs was only 15 years old at the time, but he already showed attitudes of leadership and ambition that were combined with Wozniak's great idea: to create a personal computer. The first job they did together was some blue boxes that allowed long-distance phone calls to be made free of charge. This product was sold for $150 each, with the proceeds split between Wozniak and Jobs. Although this may seem insignificant, this was undoubtedly the beginning of Apple by showing the projects that the two founders of the company could carry out.
The first inspiration for Jobs and Wozniak
The fact of making a personal and functional computer is something that at first surpassed the two geniuses. The failure of the first prototype designed by Wozniak did not set a good precedent, but the technology was advancing at great speed. Attending Homebrew Computer Club meetings and the release of the new Atair 8800 and IMSAI microcomputers inspired Wozniak to create his own computer. The problem that arose was the high price of the components to design the product. That is why for several months he limited himself to drawing on paper until a CPU could be afforded to bring it to life. It was MOS Tecnology that launched in 1976 the 6502 processor for a price of 20 dollars. Although he had in his designs focused on the 6800 processor, he was able to make the appropriate changes to adapt to the new chip.
It was on March 1, 1976 that Steve Wozniak completed the design of the computer. In order to receive feedback from the rest of his colleagues, he decided to take it to the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of electronics enthusiasts that met in Menlo Park. This team was essential to be able to make important advances in the world of computing by being open to sharing ideas among all members.
The ambition of Steve Jobs, trigger of the initial success
Where Wozniak saw in his blueprints a perfect machine to become a personal computer, Jobs saw an incredible business idea. This was the moment where the capacities of both founders were combined to be able to create a company from scratch with a project that was on paper. Initially, Wozniak's good will made him think of showing his project for free to all the big companies of the time. This is something Jobs obviously didn't want, offering the ability to sell only fully bare motherboards at first. In parallel, Steve Wozniak moved to Hewlett Packard (HP) to be able to show his plans. The result that he obtained was five refusals, as he did not find the meaning of this personal computer.
Finally, thanks to the insistence of Steve Jobs, Wozniak agreed to do business together in order to create a new company.
The problem of initial financing
The beginnings of Apple were quite humble since none of the founders had the necessary money to start their journey. That is why they had to start selling all the valuables they had to get enough money. This was used to start creating the printed circuit boards that Steve Jobs originally proposed.
The original funding was less than $1,000. These were made after Jobs' Volkswagen Type 2 van was sold for about $300 and Wozniak's HP-65 programmable calculator for $500. With this initial investment, it was possible to start the production and sale of the first printed circuit boards that would allow obtaining the necessary financing to produce and design the Apple I, the company's first personal computer.
Steve Jobs' garage: the origin of everything?
It has always been thought that the founding of Apple took place in the garage of Steve Jobs in the house located at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos (California). Although, this is a simple myth since Wozniak himself stated in different interviews that neither designs, tests nor prototypes were made in the garage. Apparently it only served as a home for the founders of the company, as they did not have much money for it. Although in the biography of Steve Jobs it is detailed that it was in this address where many of the interviews with companies were carried out to sell his ideas, having an effect.
In this house, the Apple founding agreement was also officially signed on April 1, 1976. It was signed by three people: Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and also the 'unknown' Ronald Wayne. This date is where the company began to function as a commercial company. It is important to note that Ronald Wayne left the company 12 days after its founding in exchange for $800. This decision was motivated by the bad experiences he had had in the past as an entrepreneur.
Origin of 'Apple Computer'
In the agreement signed by all parties, the company was called Apple Computer. According to Steve Wozniak it was Jobs himself who proposed this name after returning from Robert Friedland's All-One farm in Oregon. While reflecting on this farm, he was doing one of his typical fruit eating diets and thinking of that name reminded him that it was fun, lively and not intimidating. Other major factors that favored the choice of this new was the competition with Atari. By choosing 'Apple Computer' in the telephone directory, they would be the first to face agreements with other companies. It is interesting to see how even in the name the ambition and desire to succeed that Steve Jobs had at that time is so present.
Apple startup problems
As we have said before, Wozniak received numerous refusals when he went with his project to the different leading technology companies such as HP. The problem that arose mainly was the price of the components at that time, making it very difficult to produce and market due to the high risk involved. When you start with a new product, you don't know exactly if it will end up catching on with users. Companies cannot afford such a high level of risk when making an investment, since if it goes wrong it would be money lost.
The second problem that arises is that at that time it was not conceivable that there would be a computer in homes. The use that was given to it was normally more business than domestic, but Wozniak defended that a personal computer could be implanted in homes. In the end it has been seen that not having a computer at home is something that is not conceivable, but at that time the uses were not found. That is why up to 5 refusals were received at HP and Steve Jobs was forced to seek funding elsewhere. If they did not get this financing they would have to continue selling bare plates, which was not the objective they had set for themselves.
Apple's first big deal
Once Steve Wozniak had perfected what would become the company's first personal computer, the Apple I, they again traveled to the Homebrew Computer Club. It was here that they caught the attention of Paul Terrell, manager of the Byte Shop computer store. He was so impressed that he offered both founders his cards and stated that they would be in touch. But Jobs was not a person who liked to wait for deals and the next day he went to the Byte Shop in Mountain View so he could sell Terrell the circuit boards they were making. But he did not make it easy for him since he asked that the computers be fully assembled, and that there be a total of 50 units. In exchange, he would pay her $500 for each one. The problem that arose in this case is that they did not have the money to pay for the components of the Apple I.
In order to get the financing, Steve Jobs went to see a credit manager. Seeing the project and the large figures that he claimed, they were not going to grant him the loan, but thanks to the purchase order and the promise to return it in 30 days. Although it was somewhat risky, he ended up convincing the lender and granted him the loan he was requesting. The problem is that building so many teams is that there were few people and a lot of work ahead. They spent night and day working to be able to meet the delivery and in the end they finished manufacturing the assembled circuit factories. Terrell was surprised as he did not expect the deadline to be met but was in for an unpleasant surprise. The boards were expected to be accompanied by a screen, keyboard and case but they were bare. In the same way, the agreement was fulfilled and Terrell made the promised payment.
Apple I launch and success
In July 1976, the Apple I was officially launched with a price of 666.66 dollars. The truth is that this figure is quite peculiar, but according to Wozniak they decided on it since he loves the repetition of numbers. Sales reached 200 units thanks to some characteristics that differentiated it from other computers. For example, a television could be connected as a display medium that displayed 60 characters per second. Wozniak designed a cassette player as an accessory to be able to upload and download information at a speed of 1200 bits per second. This computer was considered a work of computing art, since it hardly used parts, although the functions it could perform were very simple if seen in the current context. Without a doubt, he established Steve Wozniak as one of the best engineers thanks to his creativity and ingenuity when it came to developing new equipment. From here Wozniak focused solely on the creation of the Apple II while Steve Jobs sought financing and was the visible face of the company.
That is why today we remember and have in our minds the person of Jobs at the head of Apple much more deeply rooted. In the end, he was a true visionary who knew how to move the masses and convince whoever was necessary, such as a lender, to offer him the financing for his project, as we have previously mentioned.
The real takeoff of Apple
Obviously the company that was starting could not settle for loans and specific orders. Jobs was aiming high and began looking for major investments. There were many investors who spoke with Jobs like Don Valentine, but most closed the door on them because they did not see enough security behind the business. It was finally the millionaire Mike Markkula who saw great potential in Apple Computer and that is why he became the company's first investor. He initially offered the two Steves a $250,000 line of credit. Obviously, in exchange, this investor received 33% of the company to be able to participate in decision-making.
Finally, the corporation that was created with this investor bought Apple Computer that was only 9 months old. In February 1977, Apple's first president and CEO, Michael Scott, was appointed as neither Steve Jobs nor Wozniak had the necessary experience to run the company. Finally both founders took their project very seriously, Wozniak resigning from his position at HP to work full time at Apple. From then on, they continued to design new computers that came out over the years, continuing to consolidate Apple as a leading company in technology and innovation.
Objective accomplished: the legacy of the founders is fulfilled
More than 40 years after Apple's founding, the company continues to grow like never before. The solid foundations built by both Steve Jobs and Wozniak have made the company worth more than a billion dollars right now. Of the first 200 personal computers that they managed to sell, they now number in the millions. This is undoubtedly an indication that the work that began several years ago, despite the obstacles along the way, has culminated in success. It is always interesting to know how a billion dollar company started from scratch with two teenagers drawing pictures on paper. And there are still many years ahead for this company that faithfully meets the objectives set at its inception.