Here's some advice on how to include things like a sales forecast, expense budget, and cash-flow statement.
Apple Computer now known as Apple, Inc. Learning about its history teaches us about competing visions of the future and how companies made decisions during this exciting time. The Computer History Museum presents here two special documents from Apple Computer during the early days of personal computing.
Both of the rare documents are presented here for the first time. Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum For a business plan written when the hardware was a wire-wrapped board and the software was three demos on a graphics substrate, it was pretty close.
Chris Espinosa, Apple employee no. The first document presented here—Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum—is a traditional funding plan in which a great deal of market information is combined with a vision for the future. The plan was donated to the Museum by original Apple investor Mike Markkula.
InSteve Jobs met with Markkula and convinced him that personal computers were an exciting opportunity. He also served as chairman from untilwhen a new board was formed after Jobs returned to the company.
While this plan may have been a snapshot, however, a mighty corporate tree grew from this particular acorn. One of the key components of any good business is an objective assessment of potential risk factors.
Apple still does this, for example in the integration of the iPod with the iTunes store. This document is a seminal source of key information about Apple Computer and the competitive landscape it faced during a critical time in the history of the computer.
It was the time of rapid fortunes and equally rapid losses, where the legend of the two high school kids tinkering in a garage becoming multimillionaires was yet to come.
Yet the seeds of so much of what would take place in the industry and in the world at large are contained here. Both types of business plan have the same goal: Most business plans are a goldmine of information about the company founders and their vision of the future and offer a snapshot of assumptions about marketing, positioning, competition, management and financing that are useful sources of historical information in their own right.
Kottke had built and tested the legendary Apple I computer that Wozniak and Jobs had conceived in Jobs garage in The Macintosh project itself started as the idea of early Apple employee Jef Raskin, a human interface expert and strong advocate for easy-to-use computers—which had still to be invented in his view.
Raskin got the go-ahead to assemble a team of young and talented people, whose names appear in the organization chart at the end of the business plan p. In fact, Raskin left Apple in over such a conflict.
For the rest of us. In some important ways, the plan omits what would become fundamental changes to the assumptions on which it was based.
The business plan notes the IBM Displaywriter as a competitive issue but the PC would soon present a much more serious threat.
And, of course, the Mac was not announced until —two years after the date stated in the plan.Focus: Stripping away the 40+ pages of ‘stuff’ in a traditional business plan, I’ve seen users of the BMC improve their clarify and focus on what’s driving the business (and what’s non-core and getting in .
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