When the Wright brothers made their historic first flight in 1903, lots of other inventors were trying to fling their own shoddy little planes into the air. And in 1977, when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II, there were a zillion other nerds working on building a personal computer.
But Woz beat them to it, and Jobs knew how to sell it.
The Apple II was the product that turned Apple into Apple. It was the iPhone of its era, the product that redefined every machine like it that came afterward.
Its real magic was Wozniak’s minimalism. He integrated many technologies and components that no one else had put together in the same device, and he did it with as few parts as possible. It was, as Wozniak wrote in his autobiography, “the first low-cost computer which, out of the box, you didn’t have to be a geek to use.”
But as genius as Wozniak was, the Apple II almost didn’t make it out of his brain and into a product that the rest of the world could use.
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