In 1980 the Apple IPO was too risky for Massachusetts

In December 1980, Apple had its IPO. They were not allowed to sell in Massachusetts because they were deemed to be too risky.

At end of the day, the stock had increased in value by almost 32% to close at $29, leaving the company with a market value of $1.778 billion. Apple is now worth over $1 trillion. This was an increase of over 500 times from the end of trading on its first day.

2 thoughts on “In 1980 the Apple IPO was too risky for Massachusetts”

  1. It seems odd to me that Apple was considered all that risky. In 1980 they had profitable products that dominated the microcomputer market. The IBM PC, the open standards of which made microcomputer hardware a commodity market, was two years in the future.
    A physics professor I knew had an apple in his lab around 79 or so. For what he could run on it, he much preferred it to the time shared, punch card I/O dominated big iron that was the norm at the time. Because of it, he never went over his allotted time on the IBM 360/370 hardware, so he did not have to purchase more.
    I also knew computer science students that had an apple, and a 300 BAUD modem at home to use as a terminal for the timeshare hardware they had to program on. Otherwise, they’d have been stuck punching cards at the computer center till 3 in the morning.

  2. Maybe we need to look at the trajectory of every computer stock listed in 1980 to see if it was incorrect to label apple as “risky”.

    Well not “computer stock”, it’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we know computers were going to be so dominant over the next 4 decades. So technology stock.

    Actually, in 1980 it wasn’t clear that technology would be huge either. IIRC the big deals at the time were oil prices and prospects for war in the middle east. So every startup IPO in 1980. Including all the oil exploration companies. The electric car companies. The energy sufficient home companies. All the stuff that seemed possibly lucrative given the experience of the 1970s.

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