Thirty two years ago, Apple was a very different company and Steve Jobs was a very different entrepreneur. Young, inexperienced and with a big ego to boot (ok, maybe some things never change).
Thanks to the Computer History Museum and Apple, we are given an insight into those early days at Apple via two very unique documents; Apple’s first business plan and Apple’s first IPO plan.
The 30-page Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan, released internally within Apple Computer in 1982, describes the market position the Apple Macintosh could fill and the plans they envisaged for themselves.
The original Business Plan and the Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum were donated to the Museum’s collection by Apple’s First Employee Dan Kottke and by original Apple Investor and Former Chairman Mike Markkula, respectively.
Apple’s early strategy was to encourage businesses to move up market to the expensive Lisa and Apple III computers, costing between $3,000 and $5,000.
About 63 people were working on the Mac project in December 1981, and according to the plan Apple considered education to be its primary market:
“As Word Processors are replacing typewriters in the real world, students need to learn word processing, not just typing. MAC will help the student of the 80’s learn the tools of the 80’s.”
The plan gives insight into “open issues” that troubled the planners:
- “Europe has not been given much consideration yet.”
- “Is our schedule realistic?”
Apple’s initial public offering plan also highlights the inexperience of the company and the issues that lay ahead
“Apple Computer Inc. is a new company which has not established a long history of operation… Apple management expects that rapid growth and potential market fluctuations may present severe cash flow management difficulties.”
The original business plan and the IPO document are available to download direct from the Computer History Museum website.
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