April 1, 2021, marks Apple’s 45th birthday. The company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on this day in 1976.
Apple Formed on April 1, 1976
In his biography of Mr. Jobs, Walter Isaacson describes that day:
On April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak went to Wayne’s apartment in Mountain View to draw up the partnership agreement.
This agreement laid out how profits and shares would be split 45 percent each to Mr. Jobs and Mr. Wozniak, the remaining 10 percent to Mr. Wayne. Apparently, “Jobs signed in lowercase script, Wozniak in careful cursive, and Wayne in an illegible squiggle.” Mr. Wayne famously jumped ship days later. Had he held onto his stake he would be a billionaire – the biography details that in 2010 the 10 percent stake would have been worth around $2.6 billion. Since then, Apple has become a two trillion-dollar firm. Sady, Mr. Wayne ended up living on social-security in Nevada. Meanwhile, Jobs and Wozniak went on to produce the Apple I, and the rest is history. The name ‘Apple’ was reportedly chosen because it was soft next to the word computer and put the company ahead of Atari – where Mr. Jobs and Mr. Wayne met – in the phone book.
Forty-five years on, it is a company that spans, and in many cases defines, a variety of industries. Recently, Apple has added being a media company and ongoing attempts to build a gaming platform to its repertoire. While there is a growing focus on services, the heart of the company remains making the hardware that it became famous for.
Happy Birthday, Apple!