After leaving Texas Instruments, senior managers Rod Canion, Bill Murto and Jim Harris reportedly met for dinner at a 'House of Pies' in Houston to discuss the idea of launching a new business. With each of them prepared to invest $1,000, they considered opening Mexican restaurants, creating storage devices for minicomputers and other potential ventures before founding Compaq in February 1982.
It's said that Canion sketched out the first Compaq PC on a placemat at the pie shop and the company soon received $25 million in venture capital to develop its IBM clone, which was announced in November 1982 as the Compaq Portable and released in March 1983 for $2,995.
Bonus throwaway trivia: Compaq's company name was derived from...?
- It's a play on the company's early compact PC designs
- It's short for "Computers... Any Questions?"
- It's short for "Compatibility And Quality"
- It's a portmanteau of the founders' rejected business ideas
Although it was said to be applied as an afterthought, Compaq is short for "Compatibility and Quality," referencing compatibility with the IBM PC.