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Informative speech
When I say Apple what thought comes to mind? Ill give you a hint; Im not
talking about the fruit. In the past 14 years the Apple Computer Company has been a
dominant power in the technology world. Ranging from computers to phones and mp3
players. Apple however has not always done this well. From 1985 to 1997 Apple
struggled to find their identity and in turn struggled as a company. In this I am going to
talk about the beginning of Apple and its enormous rise to fame. Then I am going to talk
about the struggles and trial that Apple faced in the late 80s to 97. Finally I will talk
about 1998 and how Apple began to resemble the company we know of today.
In 1976 the Apple computer company was born. This company was the brainchild
of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Steve Jobs was known to be a bit of a weird and out
there type of person. When debating the name of the company Jobs was quoted in saying
that I was on one of my fruitarian diets. Jobs was on his way back from an apple farm
and the idea just came to him. When he proposed the name to Wozniak they both agreed
that the name was perfect at to not be intimidating and that it also allowed them to be
ahead of Atari in the phone book, which at the time was their biggest rival (Isaacson).
Before the company was finalized in 1976 Wozniak was still employed by HP.
This is relevant because this almost cause the Apple computer company to never be.
Wozniak was a very loyal engineer and felt that since he designed and envisioned the
electronics and code for the Apple I while being employed by HP he felt that they should
have the first dibs on the designs. Woz demonstrated his invention to the board at HP and
impressed them completely. However at the time HP felt that his design was outside the
scope of business that they wanted to work on. This allowed Woz to fully devote his
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designs and time to the newly founded Apple computer company without regrets or
ethical issues (Isaacson).
Apple went on to have great success with the Apple I and the Apple II computer.
The Apple II allowed Apple to rise to stardom and become one of the top computer
companies in the world. The first fault in the company was when Apple began to produce
the Apple III. This was supposed to be a simple upgrade to the Apple II, faster, smaller
more memory, the usual. However this computer was plagued with failing boards and
falling sales. Jobs then decided to venture out by himself and create a new Apple
computer named the Lisa (Isaacson).
This computer was named after the daughter Jobs disowned and later, the Lisa
computer would also be one of his major downfalls. In a meeting with Xerox a deal was
brokered to allow Apple to see all the new and inventive technology Xerox has to offer.
The most important thing was the use of a GUI. This is a graphical user interface. In
essence a computer before a GUI was all code to perform tasks. With a GUI it made the
computer look and act like one today. There was now a mouse, a desktop and interface
for input outside of just the keyboard. When Jobs saw this he had it immediately
integrated into the Lisa. When Xerox confronted Jobs about the Lisa he is quoted in
saying, Picasso had a saying good artists copy, great artists stealand we have
always been shameless about stealing great ideas. (Isaacson).
When Apple went public in 1980 the company was valued at more than $1.79
Billion dollars. Jobs and Wozniak were now worth $254 million dollars apiece. This
however did not make everything in the Apple headquarters peaceful. There was still a 3
horse race for what was the next step for Apple. It came gown to the Apple IV, the Lisa,
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and a project that Jobs thought was ridiculous, the Macintosh. Jobs was kicked off of the
Lisa team and needed a new project to try and improve. He landed on the Macintosh. The
Macintosh was portrayed as a cheaper and less powerful version of the Lisa. There began
to be fighting between the Lisa and Macintosh teams. The president of Apple at the time
is quoted in saying, Whats the difference between Apple and the Boy Scouts? The Boy
Scouts have adult supervision. (Isaacson).
Bill Gates and Microsoft found itself in a bit of fire from Apple about the use of a
GUI. Youre ripping us off! he shouted. I trusted you, and now youre stealing from
us! Gates just sat there coolly, looking Steve in the eye, before hurling back, in his
squeaky voice, what became a classic zinger. Well, Steve, I think theres more than one
way of looking at it. I think its more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox
and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen
it. (Isaacson). Gates finally agreed to sign a statement to the effect that Microsoft
would not use Mac technology in Windows 1.0--it said nothing of future versions of
Windows, and Gates' lawyers made sure it was airtight (Sanford).
In 1984 the Macintosh was finally released. The hype was enormous and yet the
sales were much lower than expected. It had only reached 10% of its projected sales. This
along with a bitter argument between Jobs and the then president of Apple caused Jobs to
resign from Apple in 1985. This marked the deepest and darkest financial times for
Apple. (Isaacson). One major issue was Apple trying to compete with Microsoft by
licensing a newly mad version of its operating system (Gandel).
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In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to Apple and became the new CEO. Alan
Deutschman describes Jobs as vein, petulant, cruel, yet irresistibly seductive even to
those he abuses most. (Maccoby). He did not like the title and began calling himself the
iCEO. That year apple lost $1.04 billion dollars. In the same year Jobs met a man named
Jony Ivy. With the combination of Jobs and Ivy in 1998 Apple began to finally make a
profit, this was the first time since 1984 when the Lisa and Macintosh began to ship
(Isaacson). With this friendship and new outlook as a company, Apple began to resemble
the company that we all know of today. Thus marking a huge moment in the technology
history book. So when you think of Apple, I hope that you now have a better perspective
on the trials and growth that Apple sustained to get to where they are now.













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Bibliography
Gandel S. Why iPod Can't Save Apple. Money [serial online]. April 2004;33(4):90-93.
Available from: Business Source Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 20,
2014.
Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Maccoby, M. (2001). THE NEW BOSS. Research Technology Management, 44(1), 59.
Sanford, G. (n.d.). Company History: 1985-1993. apple-history.com / company history:
1985-1993. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from http://apple-history.com/h4