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CompuAdd Corporation was a manufacturer of personal computers in Austin, Texas, USA. It assembled its product from components manufactured by others. CompuAdd created generic PC clone computers, but unlike most clone makers, had a large engineering staff. CompuAdd also created a Multimedia PC (MPC), the FunStation, and a Sun workstation clone, the SS-1.

CompuAdd was the largest clone PC manufacturer in Austin until 1993 and outsold PC's Limited (bankrupted[citation needed] and renamed Dell Computer Corporation). CompuAdd sold PCs to corporate, educational and government entities. CompuAdd Computers 386 was on the US Army's Mobile Missile System in Gulf War 1 (1991) and it was rated and tested by the Army for that use.

Bill Hayden's background[edit]

Hayden was born in San Antonio, Texas. He went to school at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1971. He was employed by Texas Instruments as a design engineer in a classified government reconnaissance project. In 1974, Hayden switched jobs to TI's Calculator Division and became a project engineer. It was there that Hayden claims he developed the entrepreneurial spirit that he later applied when he started CompuAdd. After several years in this position, which required a great deal of overtime, he decided that he needed more time to contemplate his future. He noticed that quality assurance was less demanding work with shorter hours and switched jobs. As his 10-year anniversary with TI approached in 1981, Hayden turned in his resignation.[1]

CompuAdd was always 2nd fiddle to across town rival Dell Computer. Bill Hayden's desire to have better name recognition and his own engineering staff stretched his company too far in dept. Retail stores, engineering development cost overruns, and creation of CompuLite instead of cutting costs in his core business, all led to the company's demise.

Bill Hayden tried several other business ventures that were unsuccessful.

CompuAdd history[edit]

CompuAdd was founded by Bill Hayden in the following year, 1982. CompuAdd using $100,000 earned by selling real estate part-time. Hayden sold computer peripherals and add-on devices such as disk drives. The name came from this computer add-on business plan.[citation needed]

The company's marketing slogan was: Customer Driven, by Design,[citation needed] and it prided itself on its "no frills" corporate culture.[2]

CompuAdd operated a chain of retail computer stores in the United States.

CompuAdd also had a strong server line and all of its systems were superior to Dell Computer systems at the time[citation needed].

At the height of CompuAdd's reign, it had over 100 sales people. CompuAdd policy was to not allow any sales representative to have the same name, so many chose their own names like Austin, Houston, Travis, Lamar, and other Texas geographically known places and historic people.[citation needed]

CompuAdd was two years ahead of its local competitor Dell Computers (PC's Limited) in catalog sales and had over 200 retail stores at its peak.

Big changes[edit]

In 1993 CompuAdd closed all of its retail stores, to concentrate on direct sales, and sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection[3] - but also launched a new line of Centura personal computers. When they emerged from bankruptcy in November 1993, 75 percent ownership of the company was transferred to unsecured creditors, with Hayden retaining 20 percent and the remainder held for employees.[4]

Hayden shortly afterwards resigned as CEO, a position taken over by Richard Krause, the company's president and chief operating officer.

CompuAdd was subsequently bought by Dimeling, Schrieber & Park, a private Philadelphia investment company in September 1994.


  1. ^ "Texas EE Seizes the Entrepreneurial Spirit", EDN, January 14, 1993
  2. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (24 November 1991). "The Executive Computer; Compuadd Moves Up to the First Tier". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  3. ^ Prior, Teri (15 October 1994). "The Class of 1989: Where Are They Now?". Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  4. ^ "CompuAdd Computer Corporation History". Retrieved 8 September 2017.

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