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Los Altos Garage as Birthplace of Apple is ... a Myth!

Rainbow Girl's picture

Even faker than the Economics Nobel Prize ginned up by a Swedish bank.
NY Post.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak ("Woz") told Bloomberg Business News that the garage was "something for us to feel was our home."

In reality, no soldering, designing, breadbording, prototyping or planning took place in that garage. Where was the real work being done? At Wozniak's Cupertino cubicle at Hewlett Packard where he was an employee, apparently working on HP's dime doing stuff for his personal business:

“The garage was a bit of a myth ... The work was being done — soldering things together, putting the chips together, designing them, drawing them on drafting tables — at my cubicle at Hewlett-Packard in Cupertino [Calif.].

Either HP was a super progressive non-efficiency oriented employer (if it knew what "Woz" was doing on HP's dime) and virtuously allowed Creatives to Create on its dime, or "Woz" did a good job of working for his personal account while ostensibly being paid to do work for HP. Either way, sounds like HP should join the pantheon of the Apple Creation Story!

Woz again:

“That was an incredible time. It let me do >a lot of side projects, and it was five years to the summer of ’75, when I built the Apple computer, the first one.

Note lack of agency in "time ... let me do a lot of side projects" for five years! If that happened today, wouldn't Wozniak have been shit canned pronto (assuming he'd been caught)? Or does anyone think HP was cool with having its employees doing their own stuff while being paid to do HP stuff?

Another thought: what is Apple's official or unofficial policy of encouraging its employees to moonlinght while on Apple's clock on potentially Amazing Innovations that Apple has no claims on and may even compete with Apple's products? Would a Woz get fired by Apple and all of his IP created on Apple's clock seized? Would Woz ever work again in Silicon Valley?

Then Woz seems to have a mental short circuit - or a total non sequitur moment:

"We had no money. You have to work out of your home when you have no money."

[Scratching head.] Except Woz just told us he was not working on Apple at home, but at his employer's office.

Cherry on the cake - Woz declares he built the Apple II computer in '76 not in the Palo Alto garage, but at .... his cubicle at HP - his employer's plant. Does HP know that? Has it taken credit (financial and otherwise) if it does? Would it have any recourse against Woz for stealing company time and making what could potentially be a "work for hire" ... decades ago? (Ha ha.)

So the Palo Alto garage story, according to Apple co-founder Woz's own words to Bloomberg Business news, has been a total myth that neither he nor Saint Steve Jobs ever bothered to de-mythify. Kind of un-classy, if you ask me.

Especially since - Cerise on the Cherry - the garage's mystique as the birthplace of Apple being what it is, it was designated a historic landmark by Palo Alto - only last year! I missed the news stories about how at the ribbon cutting ceremony for this landmarking Jobs and Woz came out and told everyone the garage was just a handy construct for the Origin Myth of Apple and that the guts of the work was done at HP! Anyone?

The fakery around the tropes "Masters of the Universe," "Innovators," "Market Heroes," the current Silicon Valley evangelism, and Olympic athletes, for that matter (the fraudulent cyclist who had everyone wearing those stupid yellow bracelets), is just oozing out of our late-stage Neo-Liberal All-Is-Brand Shenanigan State.

Bummer, so Apple wasn't a garage-band type product after all. Quelle delusion.

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Submitted by Dromaius on

Now we know why Apple works it's Cupertino employees to the bone...because they don't want them working on a new pseudo-Apple in their cubicles!

I do remember HP being a little like Boeing in the 70's....kind of low productivity, to say the least.

But yeah, I suspect that most of the Apple myths are just that -- myths!