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Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius by Jay Elliot

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Understanding All Parts of the Sales Equation

After those meetings, next on the agenda were meetings with the software developers, including Microsoft, as well as some companies that have since faded from the equation, such as Lotus and Aldus. Steve wanted to pressure them about their not coming through yet with their promised software for the Mac. He was not in a good mood over the lack of progress.

I was looking forward to meeting Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus, because of his unusual background. He had been raised in New York and after studying psychology became a music director and disc jockey at a radio station. He was headed for teaching philosophy at MIT but had been doing some computer programming on the side, which led to his becoming involved in the development of VisiCalc, the first-ever spreadsheet program. It had become an incredible success on the Apple II and is sometimes credited with being the program that turned the personal computer from a hobbyist machine into a useful tool for everyone.

For all its success, VisiCalc was somewhat clumsy and clunky. Two years before the Macintosh was introduced, Mitch left VisiCalc to start his own software company, Lotus, and created a competing program called Lotus 1-2-3, which quickly became the leading spreadsheet software. This was the first bundled package that had a spreadsheet and a database manager in one application, and many today believe this program laid the groundwork for Microsoft Office.

When Mitch showed up at ...

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