Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977 without Wayne, who sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800. Multi-millionaire Mike Markkula provided essential business expertise and funding of $250,000 during the incorporation of Apple.
The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first "killer app" of the business worldóthe VisiCalcspreadsheetprogram. VisiCalc
created a business market for the Apple II, and gave home users an
additional reason to buy an Apple IIócompatibility with the office.According
to Brian Bagnall, Apple exaggerated its sales figures and was a distant
third place to Commodore and Tandy until VisiCalc came along.
By the end of the 1970s, Apple had a staff of computer designers and a production line. The Apple II was succeeded by the Apple III in May 1980 as the company competed with IBM and Microsoft in the business and corporate computing market.
Jobs and several Apple employees including Jef Raskin visited Xerox PARC in December 1979 to see the Xerox Alto. Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for $1 million in pre-IPO Apple stock. Jobs was immediately convinced that all future computers would use a GUI, and development of a GUI began for the Apple Lisa.
In December 1980, Apple launched the Initial Public Offering of its stock to the investing public. When Apple went public, it generated more capital than any IPO since Ford Motor Company in
1956 and instantly created more millionaires (about 300) than any
company in history. Several venture capitalists cashed out, reaping
billions in long-term capital gains.