Computer History Museum Scores Mac Business Plan

The Computer History Museum is offering a rare glimpse into the early days of Apple thanks to the addition of the preliminary business plan for the Macintosh computer, and a preliminary version of the company's IPO plan.

The documents were donated to the museum by Dan Kottke and Mike Markkula. Both were active participants in Apple's early years, Mr. Kottke as part of the Apple I design team, and Mr. Markkula as an investor.

The early version of the Mac business plan was released in 1982 and underestimates how long it will take to bring the revolutionary computer to market while overestimating how many units the company would sell.

"This is a draft, that never actually evolved into a full plan, that Steve [Jobs] put together once Macintosh was about to be granted division status, specifically designed to quell concerns from different quarters of Apple on how the Mac relates to the Apple II or the Lisa," said Joanna Hoffman, one of the key early Macintosh team members. "Its focus is actually internal positioning."

The preliminary IPO plan dates back to 1977 and shows just how young the company and its leaders were. The document notes, for example, that the company's managers were "young and relatively in-experienced in the high volume consumer electronics business."

Both documents offer a snapshot look into Apple's history along with an interesting take on where the executives thought their little computer company would be heading.