Shift from Home to Business
In the nascent days of personal computing, the vision of these machines wasn't as expansive as what we now know computers to be. The early advertisements painted an image of "home computers" nestled in living rooms, aiding in daily tasks. They'd hold your recipes, track family budgets, assist children with schoolwork, or organize your shopping list.
Apple II, introduced in 1977 by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), was emblematic of this vision. With its relatively user-friendly interface and affordable pricing (compared to its peers), the Apple II was marketed towards the average American family. The idea was not to revolutionize industries, but to simplify household chores.
However, this trajectory dramatically shifted with the introduction of VisiCalc in 1979. Often heralded as the first spreadsheet software, VisiCalc turned the Apple II from a home-centric device into a potent business tool. Suddenly, financial projections, data analysis, and large-scale budgeting could be accomplished with a machine that sat on your desk. It was transformative. Businesses began to see the value in what had been considered just another household gadget. With the meteoric rise of VisiCalc, the personal computer's fate was redefined.
Instead of being mere household appliances, personal computers, with the Apple II leading the charge, began their rapid march into offices, businesses, and industries. The vision of computers being limited to recipes and shopping lists was swiftly outmoded as their true potential began to unfold.