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Businesses That Started in a Garage: Apple

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Sat, Oct 12, 2019

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Each month, I'm devoting a blog post to a famous company that got its start in a garage. Last month, we learned about how Jeff Bezos and his wife, Mackenzie, started Amazon in a humble garage in Bellevue, Washington. Today, I have the backstory on how a company called Apple got its start within the walls of a simple garage.

The Beginnings of Apple

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The two met while Jobs was doing an internship at Hewlett-Packard; Wozniak worked as an engineer there. Their friendship was based on an avid interest in electronics and computer design. In 1975, the two friends decided to see if they could create their own computer. Their first office was the garage belonging to Jobs's parents. That's where the prototype for the Apple I was born. Not surprisingly, this garage is now a historic site.

The Apple I Gives Way to the Apple II

Jobs and Wozniak did sell many Apple I computers, even though the design didn't have a keyboard or a monitor. Most of the people who bought the Apple I were individuals with a special and advanced interest in electronics and computers; in other words, the people who purchased the Apple I were a lot like the two people who designed it. Like all ambitious entrepreneurs, Jobs and Wozniak had ideas to improve on the design of their first Apple computer. They wanted to make a user-friendly computer that would appeal to the general public as opposed to just computer enthusiasts, and this thinking led to the development of the Apple II computer, released in 1977. It had a keyboard and was compatible with a monitor. Furthermore, this computer could display color graphics; the Apple logo was designed to reflect this appealing feature. The first year it was available, the Apple II recorded $3 million in sales. By 1980, this computer took off, with sales reaching $200 million. Hey, not bad for a 5-year-old company, right?

The Impact of Apple Computers

Apple was the first company to introduce the computer as a device anyone could have access to and find useful. Though some of the Apple computers developed in the 1980s were not as popular with the public for various reasons, there's no doubt that Jobs and Wozniak took the first steps in developing the personal computers we use today.

The Garage as the Perfect Birthplace of Apple

I've been thinking about why Jobs and Wozniak chose to start their computer company in a garage. Of course, the first reason that comes to mind is that it was rent-free! After all, it did belong to Jobs's parents. Maybe they believed in their son's dreams just as much as he did. Also, designing a computer involves putting large and small components together, creating diagrams, and making notes, so these inventive men needed plenty of space to spread out, and a garage definitely provides that. Plus, if you're inventing what you think is the next big thing, wouldn't you want to keep your business operations private? A garage provided them with privacy as well as security for their invention. As you can see, a garage can be the perfect place for individuals inspired to bring their ideas and visions to life!

Do you have any innovative ideas swirling around in your mind? If so, take them to the garage! Thanks for reading. - Alan

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