OnInnovation: Visionaries thinking out loud. A video oral history project advancing a culture of innovation powered by The Henry Ford.
So one day, we had a meeting. And turns out that the very first time ever the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, the one that all young technical kids wanna go to see the newest hi-fis and speakers and amplifiers and car systems, the first time ever they were gonna allow personal computers in, Apple, Radio Shack and Commodore. And three of our marketing people who were going, Mike-- Mark Lewis, Steve Jobs and a sales guy-- I think it was Gene-- forget his name and they were all gonna go to Las Vegas.
And I thought, "Wow, I wish I could be in on that group. But they're taking marketing people." And so I said right there-- I said, "What if we have a floppy disk, could we show it?" You know, and the show was two weeks away. You don't design a floppy disk and controller and all that in two weeks.
But I do the unusual things. And they said, "Yeah, if we had a floppy disk, we'd show it." This was my in, my way to get to Las Vegas, to see the lights of the city that I had never imagined actually seeing in person. And I got to work. I worked every day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, this young employee, Randy Wigginton, came in and worked on some of the software with me. And I got my little tiny design without knowing how disk drives were made or what they did, I got a design done that could, at least, write a program onto a disk and read the program off of the disk.
And then I said, "Well, I wonder what I'm missing? All the other designs have a lot more chips." So I opened up a competitor's design. I reverse engineered it. And I figured out mine did more in the end. So I knew I had another big winner just like the Apple II, a little board, floppy disk drive.
You type "run checkbook." And it would run the checkbook program. And that was a big step upwards for computers. We showed off the floppy disk. It got a lot of attention, immediate hit. We figured out ways to get the prices so much lower than everyone else. And part of it was few parts in the design. And that was a big step for computers.
Founder, PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors & Solar City
From his early days teaching himself to program computers, Elon Musk has worked to improve the quality of life for everyone through technology.
Founder, eBay & Omidyar Network
The work of Omidyar was one of the driving forces behind the rise of the Internet as a consumer, community, and cultural destination.
Architect & Designer
McDonough is best known as a pioneer in the green design movement, creating buildings, designs, and strategies that are "environmentally intelligent."
Chairperson, Mozilla Foundation
Baker led the release of the Firefox browser and other end-user products.
Director of Media
and Film Relations
Chief Marketing Officer
Chief Learning Officer
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