“These days, Apple’s marketing campaigns play up the company’s appeal to cool, creative people,” Jason Karaian writes for Quartz. “Things were different in the early days of the now dominant computer and device maker.”

“The $800 billion market cap behemoth we know today owes much of its initial success to the humble spreadsheet,” Karaian writes. “More specifically, a key selling point of the Apple II, the company’s first machine aimed at a mass audience, was VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet program.”

“Today (Oct. 17) is International Spreadsheet Day, marking the day back in 1979 that VisiCalc first shipped for the Apple II,” Karaian writes. “And for two years, you could only run it on the Apple II. ‘We’ve heard of several cases in which Apple II computers have been purchased for the express purpose of running VisiCalc,’ went an article in InfoWorld in 1980. It was, in a sense, the computing era’s first killer app. Apple’s machine became a sensation because of it.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Lotus 1-2-3 killed VisiCalc with striking efficiency.