Apple is, perhaps, the most polarizing company in the history of technology – you either love it or hate it. But while the opinions may vary, the facts don’t. It is the most valuable company in the world and it is the company that has revolutionized how we live and communicate. Founded on April 1, 1976, Apple has had some remarkable events and here are 5 of them that you may have never known,
Welcome to How Big Are They and here are 5 true stories about Apple that you may have never known!
1. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and One More Guy.
You might know the famous Steve-duo that founded Apple in 1976. But did you know there was another co-founder? If you don’t, that’s okay, because he withdrew from the partnership contract after only 11 days. The third co-founder of Apple is known as Ronald Wayne and he had 10% stake in the company. Not only did he invest his money in creating Apple Computers, he even wrote the original partnership agreement – because neither Jobs nor Wozniak knew any legalize and they didn’t have money to hire a lawyer. In fact, he wrote the manual for the Apple I and he designed the first ever Apple logo too.
But, 11 days later, he felt that, since Jobs and Wozniak had almost no assets, the potential creditors would come after him and he’d have to bear all the losses. Talk about foresight! This made him forfeit in 10% stake in the company, for which he received $800 and another $1500 later. Today, that 10% stake would be worth a tiny 60 billion US Dollars. Well done, eh?
2. It All Started With a Calculator.
To build a revolutionary product, you need a revolutionary idea, an incredible team and some capital. Turns out, Jobs and Wozniak made an incredible team that had revolutionary ideas… but they had no money. So, to raise some, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen Microbus while Steve Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator. Now, that might seem unfair but Woz’s Calculator fetched more money than Jobs’ bus. Together, they raised close to $1,300, which was enough to build the first ever Apple I.
3. Xerox Could Have Been Apple.
If it wasn’t for Xerox’s management not being naïve, there’s a great chance that you’d know it as the company that revolutionized the personal computer industry and not as the synonym of a copier.
Why? Because at their research center, called Xerox PARC, they had something groundbreaking. As Jobs later said, Xerox was sitting on a goldmine.
You see, before the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was a thing, the only way to interact with computers was through a black screen with green commands on it. This, however, wasn’t friendly, at all. The folks at Xerox didn’t like it either and so, they developed the concept of the GUI.
At the same time, Steve Jobs was looking for the next big thing. The Apple I and II had been successful but he wanted something revolutionary. And he found it being wasted at Xerox. So, he made an offer to Xerox. He would let Xerox invest a million dollars in Apple if they agreed to show Apple this technology. Xerox thought they got the better deal – because their $1 million became $17.6 million when Apple went public a year later. And that’s exactly where the naivety of their management team lied. Steve Jobs later said, “They were copier-heads who had no clue about what a computer can do. Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry.”
Steve Jobs was shown the technology and he was stunned. He bounced around like a child and waved his arms excitedly. He had found the next big thing. And, as history would have it, it changed the entire computer industry, and, in process, changed Apple forever. This goes on to show that great ideas are nothing without the correct execution.
4. Valued More Than a Billion in Less Than Three Years.
Apple was valued at $5,309 in January 1977. Less than 3 years later, they decided to go public. And boy did it pay off! It became the most oversubscribed initial public offering since Ford Motors in 1956.
In fact, by the end of December 1980, Apple Computers Inc. was valued at a whopping 1.79 BILLION US Dollars. Yes, from 5K to almost two billion in less than three years.
In the process, it made more than 300 people overnight millionaires.
5. Steve Jobs Persuaded John Sculley to Become the Apple CEO. Years Later, John Sculley Forced Steve Jobs Out of Apple.
Mike Markkula held the position of CEO at Apple from 1981 to 1983 after being persuaded by Steve Jobs to become the third owner of Apple and, in the process, invest $250,000 in the company. However, Markulla had promised his wife that it’d be a temporary gig.
So, in 1983, Apple and Jobs were on the lookout for another CEO. Jobs wanted to be the new president but he knew he wasn’t ready. And thus, he set his eyes on the hottest consumer marketing wizard of the moment, John Sculley, president of Pepsi-Cola division of Pepsi Co.
Jobs persuaded Sculley for months and even started seeing a father-figure in him but Sculley wasn’t really ready to leave PepsiCo. When Sculley refused, Jobs looked at him with his remarkable stare and said something that would haunt Sculley for days.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”
Of course, Sculley agreed and became the new Apple CEO in 1983. It all went smooth for a year, after which, Sculley and Jobs started having repeated disagreements, something that would irk Sculley to the point that he forced the board members of Apple to make a choice: Either I stay or Jobs stays. Steve Jobs, to be fair, held the same stance: it’s either me or him. Sculley won that battle and Jobs had to leave Apple in 1985.
Fortunately, Jobs came back to Apple in 1977, and the rest, as we know, is remarkable history.
Today, Apple has more cash than the US Treasury. As of 2016, the US Treasury has almost $50 billion in cash. Apple? 200 Billion US Dollars in cash. And it is valued at more than 700 billion US Dollars. This means that Apple Can buy 80% of Top 500 companies in America.
As a matter of fact, they can buy both Tesla AND Netflix, valued at 28 and 26 billion dollars respectively, with the earnings of just one yearly quarter. They can then buy Amazon for 90 Billion Dollars and still have enough money to buy either Coca-Cola or Disney.
Whether you are reading this on your computer or your phone, whether you love Apple or downright hate it, there’s no denying that you and I wouldn’t be here if not for Apple.
As Steve Jobs always said, “I want to make a dent in the universe”, and with Apple, he surely did.
Thank you for reading and I will catch you in the next one!