The Working Paper was the document which resulted in the formation of Autodesk. I wrote it at a time when it was clear that Marinchip Systems, the company that I had started in 1977, and which Dan Drake and I had operated since 1980, did not have a bright future. In an attempt to find markets for Marinchip's software, we had been talking to the OEM division of Lifeboat Associates. It was on a trip with Lifeboat to computer companies in the Los Angeles area in December of 1981 that I first formed the idea of starting a software-only company to provide software for the coming tidal wave of small computers from large manufacturers. This working paper was written in 48 hours, after weeks of thinking about what to do. This paper served as the introduction of the concept and the invitation to the meeting to organise the company.
by John Walker
Revision 4-January 12, 1982