Today is Lotus 1-2-3 Day, when we celebrate the original “killer app.” On January 26, 1983, Lotus Development Corporation released the application for the IBM PC, named for its three-pronged functionality: as a spreadsheet, graphics package and database manager.
Co-founder Mitch Kapor named the company after a yoga position. A child of the Sixties, he studied Eastern religions, taught transcendental meditation and spent time as a disc jockey and a standup comic before “finding himself” as a software developer.
The rest, as they say, is history. Sales of Lotus 1-2-3 quickly surpassed those of VisiCalc, its chief competitor and Kapor’s former employer. Lotus was well-known for its philanthropy and progressive corporate culture.
In July 1995, IBM executed a hostile takeover and gradually absorbed Lotus. In March 2013, IBM officially retired the brand name but not before Lotus earned a permanent place in computer history.