When Apple was still Apple Computer

After reading The Apple Revolution, I discovered Return to the Little Kingdom, subtitled How Apple and Steve Jobs Changed the World. It’s not just another book about Apple for 2 reasons: it was written in 1984 so when Apple, Inc was still Apple Computer, Inc and it was written by Michael Moritz, then a journalist at Time Magazine, but today one of the most famous venture capitalists, with investments in Yahoo and Google, just to mention two, although I must add that he has “a rare medical condition which can be managed but is incurable” and a result, he stepped back as managing director of Sequoia Capital.

It’s not that it adds a lot to the Apple Revolution, so no need to read both. Now, there are (very) interesting lessons, the best for me was probably in the Epilogue: “In 1984, faced with the challenge of managing a fast growing company in an increasingly competitive business, the board of directors were faced with the most important task that confronts any board: selecting a person to run the company. […] Only in retrospect have I come to understand the immense risk associated with hiring an outsider. […] It is not an accident that most of the great companies of yesterday and today have, during their heydays, been run or controlled by the people who gave them life. […] The founder, acting with an owner’s instincts, will have the confidence, authority and skills to lead. […] Experience is of little use in a young, fast-growing company in a new business that has a different pulse and unfamiliar rhythm. Experience is the safe choice, but often the wrong one.”

Now I could also refine my Apple cap. table as Moritz gave some nice details about employee shares. I also went back to the Apple S-1 document and slightly changed the content.

Here are the things I learnt: Both Jobs and Wozniak initally had 8’320’000 shares which they paid $2’654.48 so a price per share of $0.00032 in March 1977. Then Markkula bought the same 8’320’000 shares but for an amount of $91’000 so a price per share of $0.01094 in November 1977. The three of them were called the Promoters of the company. Then shares were sold to employees 1’280’000 to Michael Scott at a price per share of $0.01 in November 1977 and again 1’920’000 at $0.09 in August 1978. 800’000 to Frederick Holt at $0.01 in November 1977 and again 960’000 at $0.09 in August 1978. Same with Gene Carter, 160’000 to Gene Carter at $0.09 in June 1978 and 160’000 to at $0.09 in January 1979.

It should be noticed that employees were ranked as

#1 Stephen Wozniak
#2 Steven Jobs
#3 Mike Markkula
#4 Bill Fernandez had no share
#5 Frederick Holt
#6 Randy Wiggington (no info on his shares)
#7 Mike Scott – CEO
#8 Chris Espinosa had no share
#9 Sherry Livingston, first assistant, had shares
#10 Gary Martin – Accounting
#11 Don Bruener had no share
#12 Dan Kottke had no share
#13 John Draper
#14 Mike Wagner
#15 Donna Whitner
#16 Wendell Sander
Unknown Gene Carter had 320’000 shares
Unknown Jim Martindale
#34 Elmer Baum had no share

Jobs was so competitive, he did not like to be #2, so he asked to be #0! Buit Scott refused. Scott gave himself his number as a reference to 007!

Wozniak sold some stock to Fayez Sorfim, Richard Kramlich and Ann Bowers (Noyce’s wife). In the summer of 1979, Apple sold a total of $7M if existing shares are counted. Markkula and Jobs sold about $1M each. The “Wozplan” enabled some people including employees who had no shares so buy some of his.

2 thoughts on “When Apple was still Apple Computer

  1. Alan Cabello

    I particularly loved this part: “Experience is of little use in a young, fast-growing company in a new business that has a different pulse and unfamiliar rhythm. Experience is the safe choice, but often the wrong one.” 😀


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