William "Bill" Millard

Considered to be the "father" of modern computer retailing
IMS Associates and ComputerLand

Computer Scientist Hardware

He was the founder of IMS Associates, makers of the IMSAI series of computers and the electronics retailer ComputerLand. He is credited as the "father" of modern computer retailing. He worked for IBM and, later, as the head of data processing for the city and county of San Francisco. In 1969, together with his wife, he started a software publisher company called Systems Dynamics, which went bankrupt in 1972. In 1973, he founded IMS Associates, which is most famous for IMSAI 8080 microcomputer first shipped in late 1975. By 1977, IMSAI's product line included printers, terminals, floppy diskettes and software. To finance rapidly growing operations, IMSAI pledged 20% of its stock as convertible note in exchange for $250,000 from investment firm Marriner & Co. In 1976, in partnership with John Martin-Musumeci, IMS launched a successful computer reseller franchise - ComputerLand. In 1982, ComputerLand's sales reached over $400 million, and by 1984 the venture reached over $1 billion in revenue. Legal troubles from the failure of IMS, centered largely on a convertible note from the Marriner partnership that was later sold to a group of investors, led to a lawsuit in which he lost a substantial portion of his stake in ComputerLand. In the late 1980's he relinquished control of ComputerLand and in 1987, he sold ComputerLand to E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. for about $200 million. He and his family moved to Saipan where he removed himself from the public view. In August of 2008, recognizing the dramatic negative consequences of global aging and the potential of new technologies to mitigate its impact, he co-founded the LifeStar Institute based in Orlando, FL to accelerate the development of therapies to restore function to mature individuals and prevent degenerative disease.

Courtesy of Wikipedia


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