Apple Computers is of the largest and most widely renowned companies in the entire world, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, there was a time when it seemed like Apple Computer was almost certainly going to fold as mainstream PCs took the market moving forward. One Simpsons episode from the late 1990’s even had a back and forth joke to this extent with Homer Simpson saying “You know, by the guy from Apple Computer,” and the confused looking teenager beyond the music store counter saying “What computers?”

While it wasn’t a straight line to become the massive juggernaut that it is today, you still need to go back to the early history of Apple to more fully understand how they have become who they are now. Apple was originally founded all the way back in 1976 by three men: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak (“The Woz”) and finally, Ronald Wayne. The reason you only know those first two names is Wayne sold his shares back to Jobs and Woz for $800, and Apple would later become incorporated in 1997 with backing from millionaire investor Mike Markkula.

The Apple I was the most basic of computers, that would have far more in common with a typewriter than what anyone would recognize as a modern laptop or modern PC. The Apple II would follow. While still really basic by today’s standards it offered colored fonts, storage devices, and would be the home of the first business programs that would prove extremely useful and popular in the future including the VisiCalc. This was the earliest form of a spreadsheet, with Excel still being years from being made, and while it originally used cassette tapes to store data it would eventually be adapted to use the predecessor to the modern floppy disk, paving the way for future computers.