Malcolm Gladwell writing for The New Yorker describes a visit by Steve Jobs to Xerox PARC in 1979. Xerox PARC was the innovation arm of the Xerox Corporation. In 1970, Xerox had assembled the world’s greatest computer engineers and programmers, and for the next ten years they had an unparalleled run of innovation and invention. By 1979, Apple was already one of the hottest tech firms in the country. So Jobs proposed a deal: he would allow Xerox to buy a hundred thousand shares of his company for a million dollars—its highly anticipated I.P.O. was just a year away—if PARC would “open its kimono.” Jobs was given a couple of tours, and he ended up standing in front of a Xerox Alto, PARC’s prized personal computer.
Galdwell considers whether Jobs “stole” the personal computer from Xerox, or whether it is more accurate to say that he and Apple adapted some of Xerox PARC’s ideas for a different audience.
Read more here.
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For further reading about Apple and who really did what and when, we recommend, as always, Folklore.org.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]