Ronald Wayne, one of Apple’s co-founders, joined forces with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to provide “adult supervision” and oversee mechanical engineering and paperwork. Ron Wayne sold his shares back to his co-founders, forfeiting the chance to join the ranks of the wealthiest individuals on the planet. He is now in possession of the company’s inaugural contract, which was auctioned off for $1.59 million.
As of March 23, the technology giant Apple has surpassed all other companies in terms of market capitalization, making it the largest company in the world. Owning a mere 10% of a company’s share may seem like a utopian dream to many. Ronald Wayne is a man who understands the feeling of watching a dream slip away from his grasp better than most.
Ronald Wayne, one of the co-founders of Apple, has been overshadowed by his fellow co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Despite his contributions to the company, Wayne remains relatively unknown to the public. In a hypothetical scenario, one could have sold off shares of a company for a mere Rs 10,000 due to skepticism regarding the company’s future. However, this company has since grown to become the largest in the world, with shares now worth several lakh crore. Ronald Wayne’s story is precisely as follows.
Wayne joined forces with Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, who were both young at the time, to provide the company with “adult supervision” and oversee mechanical engineering and paperwork. In exchange for a 10% ownership stake in the company, Wayne became a partner in the business.
Concerns began to arise for Wayne as he contemplated the possibility of the company’s debts becoming his personal liability. In order to fulfill the initial order of approximately 100 computers from The Byte Shop, a computer store located in the Bay Area, Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs secured a loan of $15,000. This marked the company’s first contract with The Byte Shop. Wayne expressed concern that Apple may not be able to recover their funds due to The Byte Shop’s track record of failing to settle debts. During the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were struggling financially, but their partner Ron Wayne was in a different situation. Wayne, who owned a house and other assets, was concerned that if their business venture failed, he would bear the brunt of the financial loss.
After a mere 12 days of working alongside Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, Wayne made the decision to have his name removed from the contract and sold his shares back to his co-founders for Rs 10,000. Unbeknownst to him, relinquishing his shares meant forfeiting the chance to join the ranks of the wealthiest individuals on the planet.
Owning a mere one percent share of Apple today would translate to a staggering ownership of approximately 25 billion dollars. If Wayne had held onto his 10 percent stake in Apple, he would have been the proud owner of a staggering $250 billion today. Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, has recently become the wealthiest person on the planet with a net worth of approximately $187 billion. If Wayne had been alive today, he would have been the wealthiest person on the planet.
Apple has once again provided Wayne with an opportunity to earn. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side once again. In a remarkable discovery, it has been revealed that Wayne is in possession of the company’s inaugural contract, which he personally typed on a typewriter during the 1970s. In 1990, he sold it for a meager $500, pondering over what to do with it. In 2011, the identical contract paper was auctioned off for a staggering $1.59 million.