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The Apple Revolution

Smruthi Kishore

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were perhaps two of the biggest innovative thinkers the world has ever seen. Their vision was so futuristic, one could only stand in awe and watch them create history. Jobs and Wozniak were first introduced to each other all the way back in the year 1971, by Bill Fernandez, who went on to become the first Apple employee. They became really close because of their shared love of technology and of course, pranks.

In fact, the two did not join forces for technology but for their shared love of out of the box pranks. They would create extraordinarily provocative art which ended up being displayed at a graduation ceremony. They went so far as to almost be able to call the Pope in Vatican.

Eventually, like everyone else, the two pranksters grew tired of their ways and decided to focus their love on technology like they had planned. Their first ground breaking entry into the world of innovation was by creating “blue boxes,” a system which enabled people to make long distance calls for free.

In 1975, the two Steves attended the Homebrew Computer Club together; a computer hobbyist group that gathered in California’s Menlo Park. It was here, Woz first saw the MITS Altair, which today looks like little more than a box of lights and circuit boards. The two were inspired by MITS’ build it yourself approach (the Altair came as a kit) to make something simpler for the rest of the world. This philosophy continues to shine through in Apple’s products even today.

The first Apple computer, Apple 1, was created by Woz as a means of competition to show off what he could do with such limited resources. However, little did Woz know that Jobs would like the archetype so much, he would use it for all future Apple products. Woz built everything at Apple with his own hands and he wanted to actually sell the devices for a little more than the products used to build the devices.

However, Jobs had a bigger (and better) plan for Apple altogether. Jobs cracked a deal with the Byte Shop in Mountain View to supply it with 50 computers priced at $ 500 each. This meant that once the store had taken its cut, the Apple 1 sold for $ 666.66. The legend is that Wozniak liked repeating numbers and was unaware of the ‘number of the beast’ connection.

The Byte Shop was going on a limb for Jobs and Wozniak. The fact was, Apple Computers Inc., did not have the resources to fulfill the order neither did they have enough Apple I computers. A bank turned down their request for a  loan and even the $ 5,000 they received from a friend’s father was not enough to fund the project. In the end, it was Byte’s purchase order that sealed the deal for the Apple founders. Jobs was banking on this order to see them through the end of the project. While the project went through, this risk taking factor became the main reason for the first employee of Apple to quit.

Despite the fact that only 200 Apple 1 computers were produced, the success in itself was so high, the team was able to bank role the Apple 2 project. Once developed, this piece of technology, worth a little over $ 100, was selling a piece of hardware worth ten times that much. This in itself was uncharted territory for Apple as a company. Unfortunately, even with the right software, the Apple 2 could not have been a huge success as it did not adher to the company’s already established high standards.

More importantly, Apple 2 was the first computer to use colour graphics in the right way. Apple had designed a computer that embodied what we came to expect of desktop machines through the 1980’s, 1990’s and the first few years of this century. This was the beginning of everything, before Apple turned things on its head again and moved increasingly towards sealed boxes without the option for internal expansion.

The Apple 1,2 and 3 were text based machines. The stupendous success of these two brilliant geniuses had left everyone wondering about the future of the company. They did not have to wait long. Jobs desperately wanted to do something innovative and he got his break when working with the Lisa. From there on, he went on to create the Macintosh and that in itself was a massive revolution.

However, the original Macintosh required a lot of renovations needed to make it a success. For instance, it did not have an internal hard drive and this was cited as a massive problem. After several tweaks and modifications, the Macintosh 2 came into being. This was a massive success instantly because at the time of its launch, beating Microsoft which was at that time the best selling software.

Apple has progressed through the years in leaps and bounds. Despite having lost one of the original founders, Woz took forward the Apple tradition by creating something truly brilliant. From just being a contraption of sorts, Apple products progressed to something far more sophisticated and sleek. Each design was worth taking note of and keeping a watch on the market and the market trends. From the Apple 1 versions, to the iPods and the iMacs of the current world, Apple has come a long way.

Take a moment to ponder about this fact. If Woz and Jobs had not joined the computer club back in the day, then we would not have the empowering technology we have today.

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Emerging Startup Stories

When Kickstarter Was Kickstarted!

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The summer of 2009 was quite remarkable for Perry Chen, Yancey Stricker and Charles Adler. It was that time of the year when their dream website Kickstarter was launched! Kickstarter is a New York based public benefit corporation known for building a global crowdfunding platform. The company brings creative projects to reality and is the go to platform for many entrepreneurs! There ain’t no middlemen, no loans and no grants. Sounds cool, right?

The inception of Kickstarter!

Back in 2005, the mastermind Perry met Yancey Strickler and they became good friends. In a friendly conversation, the duo started scribbling on a whiteboard their exceptional thoughts with regard to a crowdfunding platform! Later, Perry convinced his friends to give him a little bit of money. Months later, Perry was introduced to Charles Adler and so the rest you know! The three of the great minds started working on their ideas and turned it into a website.

After years of research, they finally launched the website in 2009 which was then flooded with tons of investors and projects.

Perry Chan, along with the American media editor, Yancey Stricker and American Web designer, Charles Adler came up with the idea of launching a website for the purpose of crowdfunding. Post the launch of their website, the founders spread word about Kickstarter in their friends circle. However, projects started coming in and people stepped up to support projects consequently. In January 2010,  the team moved into a tenement building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. From 3,910 successful projects and $ 27,638,318 pledges in 2010, the firm was reaching new heights already! This was followed by 18,109 successfully funded projects and $ 319,786,629 pledges in the year 2012. In the year 2013 Perry stepped down from the position of the CEO and went on to become the Chairman. He was replaced by Yancey Strickler. The year of 2014 brought the company a huge raising $ 13.28 million, which became the most funded Kickstarter project in history!

Here’s what makes Kickstarter so interesting!

Kickstarter does not rely on affluent investors. The company opts for crowdfunding, in which loads of smaller investors make contributions. The investment could be as little as a $ 1 and there are basically no restrictions. The company generated its revenue by assessing a fee of 5 percent from projects that reached or surpassed their funding targets. Projects that did not meet their funding goals within a specified time period did not receive any money pledged to them, and they were not subjected to the fee. The company so far has funded thousands of projects from investor donations resulting in several hundred million dollars. Isn’t that huge?

Kickstarter has become extremely important in the startup ecosystem! From entrepreneurs to investors, Kickstarter is one damn platform that could get you what you desire!

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Get Ready To Say Goodbye To Yahoo Messenger On 17 July

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Let us take a dig at those nostalgic days when Yahoo instant messenger was a big thing! Remember those funky emojis? Oh, yes! How could you forget those stylish yet cute avatars that you could change instantly! Well, get ready to say a final goodbye to Yahoo messenger on 17 July.

According to the latest reports, Oath, the subsidiary of telecommunications giant Verizon, who operates Yahoo, announced the final wrap up of Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo’s spokesperson said,

Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018. Until then, you can continue to use the service normally. After July 17, you’ll no longer be able to access your chats and the service will no longer work.

The current users who are still clinging to the old messaging service will be redirected to the new group messaging app Squirrel. Users will have six months to download their chat history! For more than a month now, Yahoo has been testing beta testing the Squirrel app. It will be open to the public once the Yahoo Messenger shuts down. However, those who are looking to try out the Squirrel app right now can request for beta access.

Yahoo on its official website said,

We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind. As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.

The Yahoo Messenger was launched in 1998 and was a big hit with the users! However, with time, the app appeared to lose its captivation as the competition got intense. Over the years, the app came up with a lot of updates to keep its users hooked to it. From redesigning the app, to bringing up new features, Yahoo did try surviving in the messaging platform but, couldn’t make it. The users did not find the messenger fascinating enough and eventually switched to other apps. Anyway, It is time to say goodbye to our once favourite messaging app, Yahoo messenger!

You will always be our first and favourite messaging app. 

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Entrepreneur Stories

Another bet slips off Amazon, PremjiInvest takes 6% Stake In Future Retail

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The year 2018 has been quite famous with a number of deals and acquisitions taking place in the Indian business market!

Speaking about the much hyped Flipkart-Walmart deal, that took place recently had everyone glued to the news. With regard to the Flipkart-Walmart deal, the e commerce giant Amazon Inc., lost its bet on Flipkart to the US retail behemoth Walmart. The Indian business market recently noticed an interesting investment between two firms!

The famously known Czar of the Indian IT, Azim Premji’s firm PremjiInvest, bought 6 % stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail Ltd., for a whopping $ 251 million! The acquisition happened in a bulk deal! PremjiInvest, bought the stake in a bulk deal from Cedar Support Services Ltd., a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures Ltd., It purchased the stake from Bharti Group, which owns a 9 % stake in Future Retail.

Kishore Biyani, the Founder and CEO of Future Group, said in an interview,

PremjiInvest is one of the larger investors in the consumer space in India. They are also investors with us in Future Lifestyle Fashion (4% stake.)

The value of the transaction is around $ 251 million, of which Future Retail, will get up to $ 85.2 million through a clawback provision. A clawback is a provision which is a special contractual clause, typically included in employment contracts by financial firms, by which money already paid must be paid back under certain conditions.

In an interview, with regard to the e commerce giant Amazon Inc.,

Mr. Biyani said,

We are not in discussions of any stake sale at the moment

Earlier this year, there were talks about the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos aligning with Mr. Biyani to discuss the strategic alliance. Alongside, back in March, there were reports that Amazon was about to acquire a 10 % stake in Future Retail! Well, looks like the ball is not in Amazon’s court!

As of now, Future Retail owns, the Indian hypermarket, supermarket and home segments with other significant brands such as  Big Bazaar, Easy Day and Foodhall.

With the two major acquisitions already slipping off, let us see what else is in store for Amazon in the future!

 

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