The truth about the 1984 Macintosh

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From Adam Fisher’s Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, excerpted in New York magazine.


Andy Hertzfeld: The Macintosh had a great launch; it was really successful at first. Steve laid down a challenge at the introduction, which was to sell first thousand machines in the first hundred days, and it exceeded that. But then starting in the fall, sales started dropping off.

Steve Wozniak: The Macintosh wasn’t a computer—it was a program to make things move in front of Steve’s eyes, the way a real computer would move them, but it didn’t have the underpinnings of a general operating system that allocates resources and keeps track of them and things like that. It didn’t have the elements of a full computer. It had just enough to make it look like a computer so he could sell it, but it didn’t sell well.

Andy Hertzfeld: By December of 1984 the forecast was to sell eighty thousand Macs, and in fact they sold like eight thousand.

My take: Now they tell us.