An old, spiral-bound, somewhat stained Apple II computer manual from 1980 went under the hammer at auction the other day. When all was said and done, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had the winning bid for the thing — $787,484.
February 25, 1981: Apple CEO Michael Scott oversees a mass firing of employees, then holds a massive party.
“I used to say that when being CEO at Apple wasn’t fun anymore, I’d quit,” he tells a crowd of Apple staffers. “But now I’ve changed my mind — when being CEO isn’t fun anymore, I’ll just fire people until it is fun again.” For many people at Apple, the day is the worst in company history — and an early sign that the fun startup culture of the early days are gone forever.
February 15, 1982: Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time, becoming the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.
The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the burgeoning personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.
January 28, 1978: Apple Computer occupies its first custom-built office, giving the company a bespoke business center to house its growing operations.
A full 15 years before One Infinite Loop, and almost 40 before Apple Park’s stunning “spaceship” landed, 10260 Bandley Drive — aka “Bandley 1” — becomes the first purpose-built, permanent headquarters for the newly founded company.
January 3, 1977: Apple Computer Co. is officially incorporated, with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak listed as co-founders.
Third founder Ron Wayne — who initially invested in the company — is not part of the deal, after selling back his stake in Apple for $800. The funding and expertise needed to turn Apple into a corporation is provided by a man a man named Mike Markkula, who becomes an important figure in the company’s history.
December 25, 1977: Steve Wozniak spends the holidays building a prototype of the Disk II, the Apple II’s revolutionary floppy disk drive.
“I worked all day, all night, through Christmas and New Year’s trying to get it done,” Wozniak recalls in his autobiography, iWoz. “[Early Apple employee] Randy Wiggington, who was actually attending Homestead High, the school Steve and I had graduated from, helped me a lot on that project.”
December 12, 1980: Apple goes public, floating 4.6 million shares on the stock market at $22 per share.
In the biggest tech IPO of its day, more than 40 out of 1,000 Apple employees become instant millionaires. As Apple’s biggest shareholder, 25-year-old Steve Jobs ends the day with a net worth of $217 million. However, the big payday triggers internal tensions as it highlights Cupertino’s class divide.
Want to own the home of a former Apple CEO? Wouldn’t we all? Unfortunately, you’ll need to pony up $37.5 million to do so.
Belonging to Mike Markkula, the angel investor who played a critical role in Apple’s early days, the ranch is the largest single landholding in Central California’s Carmel Valley. Markkula reportedly purchased it in 1982 for $8 million. He’s been trying to sell it since at least 2013 — and has dropped the price substantially during that time.
A video by the listing agency, Hall and Hall, lets you take a look around.