Sad day for the industry. Sir Clive Sinclair, Spectrum’s father, has passed away at 81 years because of a long illness. The inventor was one of the key pieces in bringing home computers to the masses. “He was a wonderful person. Of course, he was so smart and always interested in everything. My daughter and her husband are engineers, so they chatted about engineering with them, “Belinda Sinclair, her daughter, told The Guardian.
Clive Sinclair, a key player in the industry
Sinclair’s story is fascinating. With just 17 years old he left school to fulfill his dream: found Sinclair Radionics. To do this, he worked for four years as a technician to raise enough money to build his own company. “He wanted to make things small and cheap so that people could access them,” explains his daughter. For this reason, in the early 70s he invented small and light calculators so that they could fit perfectly in your pocket.
When his first computer arrived, the ZX80, he revolutionized the market. For 99.95 pounds you could have the first model already built. Of them he sold 50,000 units; its successor, the ZX81, would reduce its entry price to 69.95 pounds, reaching 250,000 units sold. Sinclair himself acknowledged years later that they managed to obtain 14 million pounds in profit in a single year.
Success would follow him for years to come until his first big setback, which at the same time cost him the sale of his business. The Sinclair C5 It was a tricycle of his own invention, powered by an electric battery. It expected to sell at least 100,000 units in its first year. However, it failed to curdle in the market. Many discordant voices pointed to the insecurity of driving it as it was at height below the rest of the vehicles. Amstrad acquired ownership of its computer sector. Another commercial disappointment came with the Sinclair TV80, which doubled as a pocket-sized portable television. A fascinating invention that was not received all that well thought.
“It was the ideas, the challenges, what I found exciting,” says Belinda Sinclair. “He came up with his idea and said ‘it makes no sense to ask if someone wants it, because they can’t imagine it’”. A peculiar type, who never even used the inventions that he brought to the market in his day to day life.
Source: The Guardian