People really, really wanted to see Apple’s new computer—and Apple was unprepared to deal with the consequences.
At events such as this week’s WWDC keynote, Apple routinely shows that it’s as good as any company in the world at orchestrating onstage product announcements. But on January 24, 1984–the day the company unveiled the original Macintosh at its annual meeting—it was still a relative neophyte at the practice. And it managed to blow it. So many people wanted to see the Mac in person that Cupertino’s 2,600-seat Flint Center filled up to capacity. Thousands of people were stuck outside, unable to see Steve Jobs unveil Apple’s latest breakthrough.