The Fall

Q: Did you think it was going to go under?

A: All the time, all the time.

–Bill Gates

The troubled MITS had more to worry about than its competition. The company had grown too big too fast. “We had too many irons in the fire,” Roberts admitted later. “We had a lot more things going than a company the size of ours should have had.” The faulty memory boards that were still out there in the field were just one of the problems. Quality control was not particularly effective, and customers were complaining. Projects were often launched despite the reservations of many MITS employees. A number of products failed.

Problems and Changes at MITS

“The high-speed paper-tape reader is a good example,” Mark Chamberlain recalled, “because I know ...

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