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    For those who don’t know: Marin Software Partners was the initial name for what became AutoDesk.

    I love this historical note about the cost of machines at the time:

    Here’s how it works. Suppose a partner wants to buy in for $5000. The simplest thing is just to pay the $5000 in cash. Alternatively, since many partners will want to purchase machines for software development or already own them, they may use the money to buy a machine (getting the tax credit and depreciation benefits, which are incredibly attractive today), then pledge that machine as security on a zero-interest loan from MSL. Or, MSL can loan the partner the money on a regular unsecured loan at market interest rates, and that money can be used to buy a partnership share in the normal way. At, say, 20% you can “rent” $5000 for $1000 per year.

    The idea of all this is that we recognize that a substantial portion of the initial capitalization is going to be used to buy machines for software development. Those partners who already own machines should not be forced to subsidize those who haven’t, nor should those partners who obtain machines for MSP work be forced to forgo the tax benefits of buying the machine themselves. By loaning at no interest against the machine, we’re allowing machine investments to be applied to partnership share dollar for dollar.

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      Looks like $5K in 1982 is ~$12.5K in 2017 dollars.

      Definitely worth it to look for a tax break for that type of investment.