Apple at 40: Meet Ronald Wayne, The Co-Founder You Never Heard of


Apple was established 40 years back, and the most common story is of two friends, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who created an empire. But, what isn’t common knowledge is the story behind a third entrepreneur who gave it all away.

The third co-founder of Apple, an unnoticed man – Ronald Wayne. He was there with Jobs and Wozniak during the start of the business partnership agreement.

To everybody’s surprise, Wayne sold his stake in the company just 12 days after it was formed. Due to this action, he lost out on billions of dollars.

After this incident, he’s settled 60 miles away from Las Vegas in Pahrump. There he lives “far away from tech-focused world of Cupertino,” says Gizmodo.

Wayne, who is now 81, worked at Atari, 40 years from now. It was at Atari, where he met a young, impressionable Jobs.

When Jobs had the idea of a business making slot machines, he asked Wayne for advice. Wayne said no.

There was a time Jobs thought of going to India to fine himself and Wayne if he should. “If you must. Just be careful.” Wayne said.

Ultimately one day, Jobs finally asked the historical question that built a future.

“Could you help me talk some sense into Steve Wozniak?” asked Jobs.

“Bring him over to the house,” Wayne said. “We’ll sit down, and we’ll chat.”

In an interview with Gizmodo Wayne explains the 40-year-old situation. Wozniak made certain circuits, which he wanted to use other areas.

Woznaik wanted to reserve the right to utilize that circuitry in other applications. Jobs was trying to convince Woznaik that those circuits would be proprietary to the company.

But Woznaik didn’t agree.

Jobs had many talents, but diplomacy was not one of them. You know what a diplomat is?”Wayne asked.

“It’s the guy who can tell you to go to hell and makes you look forward to the trip.”

According to BBC, he said that Jobs believes Wayne to be the diplomat and convince Woznaik. After a 45-minute conversation at Wayne’s apartment Woznaik understood.

Then the journey began.

Wayne is free of remorse about giving up his part in Apple. However, he does have one regret.

He sold his copy of Apple’s original signed contract for $650. In 2011, that same document gathered $2 million at auction.

Wayne’s home has no Apple products. He likes to create and customise his own technology. “It’s more fun that way,” he said.

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