If you know the history of Apple, Inc. you probably know it was co-founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
What you probably don’t know is the two Steves actually partnered with a third co-founder by the name of Ronald Wayne.
Wozniak was the engineer that designed and built the very first Apple computers and Jobs’ marketing genius helped grow Apple into one of the world’s most profitable companies.
Ronald Wayne’s contribution was basically helping set the company up as a legal business, a very important job in its own right.
After less than two weeks with Apple, Wayne decided he wanted out so he sold his 10% share in the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.
About a year later he agreed to accept an additional $1,500 in exchange for forfeiting any potential future claims against the company.
In a nutshell, Ronald Wayne ended up selling his share of Apple for a grand total of $2,300.
I don’t know Mr. Wayne’s reason for wanting to get out of Apple, but in hindsight he likely considers that to be the poorest business decision he ever made.
If he had remained with Apple his 10% share of what would eventually become a $1 trillion dollar company would literally make him one of the wealthiest individuals on the planet.
Of course it’s easy to second-guess decisions like this with the benefit of hindsight. I’m sure Mr. Wayne had a good reason for making it at the time.
But surely there must be times when he sits around and reflects on what could have been.
By the way, selling his share of Apple for a mere pittance wasn’t the only financial mistake Mr. Wayne would end up making in regards to Apple.
A few years after leaving the company he sold the original Apple partnership contract paper that he, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had signed for $500.
In 2011 the person that bought that famously signed contract re-sold it at auction for a whopping $1.6 million!
The next time you see an Apple product think about poor Ronald Wayne and the way things turned out for him with respect to the ultra-successful company he helped found.
And now, one final thought…
Steve Wozniak was the brilliant engineer that designed and built the machines that gave Apple its start and Ronald Wayne helped get the company off the ground, but it’s widely agreed that Steve Jobs was the driving force behind it’s amazing success.
The video featured below is a very interesting documentary about the life of this extraordinary man. Check it out!
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon in the lower-right corner of the video after it begins playing.