1976 with the co-founding of Apple. In earliest incarnation, the company would prove the driving force of the personal computer explosion of the early '80s, beginning with the Apple II -- one of the industry's first hugely popular microcomputers. The Macintosh shook things up yet again, a launch celebrated by the debut of the "1984" ad during that year's Superbowl. That line helped break both the graphical user interface and the mouse to a massive audience.
Soon after, Jobs would resign, going on to form NeXT. The company never managed sales figures anywhere near the previous endeavor, but its products would prove highly influential, forming, among other things, the basis of Apple's paradigm-shifting OS X operating system. While Steve Jobs was focused on NeXT and The Graphic Group -- the company that would later morph into the far more familiar Pixar -- Apple suffered a series of defeats.