You might not recognize Paul Terrell, but he is a tech pioneer, the fourth co-founder of Apple. In December 1975, he opened one of the world's first computer stores, The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. Jobs approached Terrell, to get him to become the dealer for his new product. Terrell was interested but was he did not sell totally. Here is the whole story of what happened next.
Terrell opened The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California in December of 1975. An year later, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak approached him to get him to be the dealer of their new product Apple I, who were then simply young and hungry entrepreneurs.
Terrell was interested but he was not totally convinced. He told them that there product was same as other products in the market which came as kits requiring assembly. Terrell suggested them to sell the computers fully assembled.
This single suggestion put Apple on the path of becoming oneof the the most innovative and valuable companies i the world. Terrell promised the pair that if the machines came assembled, he would place an initial order of 50 computers at the rate of $500 each and would pay the sum on delivery.
Terrell told NextShark: "In the early days, [Steve Jobs] was more arrogant: he had a pretty good-sized ego, so it was tough to get Steve to listen to you. The big thing that I did for him was convince him when he was trying to sell just a circuit board for 35 bucks that he ought to actually assemble and test it and put it all together, then sell it for $500. That was one of the things that he did listen to."
Jobs and Wozniak did not have money to pay for the parts to assemble the computers . According to Wozniak's autobiography, they went to a local creditor where Jobs promised the following: "I have this purchase order from The Byte Shop chain of computer stores for 50 of my computers and the payment terms are COD. If you give me the parts on a net 30 day terms I can build and deliver the computers in that time frame, collect my money from Terrell at The Byte Shop and pay you."
They delivered their computers on time and found a creative way to fund their startup without giving away any equity. Apple I was sold for $666.66, a technically fully assembled computer, it lacked power supply, a keyboard and a monitor. Jobs remembered Terrell's words: "What I needed was an assembled and tested unit that could sell to people that really just wanted to use them and not just to the technical audience."
Taking Terrell's advice, jobs and his team created Apple II, the worlds first all-in-one fully assembled computer that targeted the general consumer and not the tech-geeks
By selling 210,000 units in 1981, starting $1,298 a piece, Apple II, became on of the first examples of a successful mass produced computer.
Steve Wozniak even went as far as calling Terrell an honorary co-founder. Terrell explained: "When [Steve Jobs] died, I sent an email to Woz and I wanted to know about funeral arrangements because I was actually on the West Coast at the time. I said I could fly down to the Bay Area because I'd like to go to that funeral."Woz told me, 'Paul, I don't even know what's going on; the family is keeping it pretty closed.'
"Then he said, 'You know, I've always considered you to be the fourth founder of Apple Computer. You gave us some really good advice back in the day, and we wouldn't have been successful without doing that; we would have just been another one of those guys with boards and kits, and it really made a difference.' That was nice to hear. I really appreciated that."
According to Terrell, Jobs had a special ability to lead and recruit, much like himself. He told NextShark: "Steve Jobs was a charismatic guy, and you have to have that. I was one of those kind of people back in the day. When I was talking to people and making a presentation, I could get people really focused on me to the point of following me. It's really interesting if you have that ability; people would work for me for nothing just to be part of The Byte [Shop].Steve Jobs was that way too, and you have to have people like that to get this thing down the road to make this company happen. That's why I say about myself that I am a startup kind of guy. I can make people enthusiastic about my product and business and what I am doing, and want to be involved in it in the sense of 'I want to work for you' kind of thing and whatever it is going to take. Once again, in those days, we did not have a lot of money. It was like, 'How the hell am I going to get these guys to leave a serious job and come to work for me?' That's who Steve Jobs was; he could make people believe in what he was doing."