Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Inc., would have turned 60 earlier this week. The legend of Steve Jobs is forever cemented in tech and entrepreneurial lore, from his personal rivalry with Bill Gates and Microsoft through his release and eventual reinstatement to the company he founded, where he began a renaissance that continues to this day. But what many forget is that Apple’s roots are modest and humble, with a cloud of uncertainty darkening each step along the way.
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, CA by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. During the early years the two men were often strapped for cash, resorting to borrowing from friends and family and selling prized possessions (such as Jobs’s prized Volkswagen Bus). While eventually the company was able to secure a bank loan (with a co-signer), we’re sure that the company could have benefitted from a line of credit.
Here is what Steve Jobs could’ve done with a Merchant Cash Advance:
Office space: In the early stages of Apple, Jobs and Wozniak operated out of the garage of Jobs’s parents. While this certainly adds to the company’s legend, we imagine Jobs and Wozniak would’ve much preferred to have their own private office space during this crucial period for the young company. With a merchant cash advance, the two men could have bought some low-level office space in the Bay Area, probably bringing more organization and legitimacy into the fold of the fledgling company.
Parts: During the design and construction of the Apple I, Jobs and Wozniak were low on capital and had to settle for a machine that was below their standards. As a result, the Apple I wasn’t nearly as innovative or groundbreaking as the inventors would have liked. However, what if they had a line of credit like they originally sought? With a merchant cash advance, Jobs and Wozniak could have gotten the parts they wanted, and maybe the Apple I would’ve had the impact that the Apple II would go on to have.
Buying out Ronald Wayne: Soon after Apple was incorporated, Ronald Wayne, the third member of the partnership agreement (along with Jobs and Wozniak), decided to relinquish his stock because he was unsure of the company’s future prospects. Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800, and eventually received $1,500 for his agreement to forfeit any claims against the new company. Instead digging into their own pockets to pay Wayne, Jobs and Wozniak could have used a cash advance to settle with Wayne and buy him out.
While Steve Jobs and Apple ended up being alright, it’s fun to think about the possibilities the company would have had with a little financing back in the day.