Building up the company

Building up the company

While the first Apple was being sold, Steve Wozniak had already begun work on another computer, the Apple II. This machine would have several special features which had not appeared in any microcomputer before and would make it "the milestone product that would usher in the age of the personal computer.")

Jobs and Wozniak sensed the market potential their new computer would have, but realized they did not have the necessary capital for constructing the machines. So they tried to sell their computer to several established companies such as Atari, HP and MOS Tech, which, however, rejected. Looking out for some venture capital to produce the new computers by themselves, Steve Jobs met with Mike Markkula, who had been a marketing manager at Fairchild and Intel.

Markkula was at the age of 38, but had already retired, since he had made a fortune of many million dollars by his stock option at Intel. He visited Jobs's garage and became interested in their project. Markkula, the former marketing wizard at Intel, thoug ht it "made sense to provide computing power to individuals in the home and workplace" and offered to help them "draw up a business plan.") Finally, he decided to join the two Steves. He offered $250,000 of his own money and his marketing expertise for on e third of the company, which was incorporated as Apple Computer in January 1977. Markkula's decision marked the turning point in Apple's history; he took care of the business side and arranged all the things necessary to create a successful company. Markk ula's know-how was crucial for Apple, since Woz and Jobs did not have any business expertise. This knowledge is very important for new firms. A lot of other start-ups in Silicon Valley failed as their founders were only engineers, who lost control over the ir enterprises when they could not meet the skyrocketing demand for their products.

In 1977, Markkula hired Mike Scott, who had worked for product marketing at Fairchild, as the company's president, because he felt Apple needed an experienced person to run the company.

Jobs, who wanted only the best for his company, also persuaded Regis McKenna, who ran the biggest and most influential agency in Silicon Valley, to do public relations and advertising for Apple. McKenna, who worked for successful Intel and many other compa nies, brought Apple legitimacy and, among other things, designed the famous Apple logo. Another important contribution was the fact that he made Apple the first company to advertise personal computers in consumer magazines to "get national attention" and " popularize this idea of low-cost computers.")

Steve Jobs's persistency had persuaded Wozniak, the electronics genius who designed the machine, McKenna, and Markkula, the business expert. Jobs himself was the driving force that brought the key components together to build up a successful company.

Martin Groeger
Last modified: Mon Jul 8 05:41:55 PDT