Have you ever started any venture but pressurized into quitting? Obviously if you are an entrepreneur the answer should be a resounding YES. The purpose of this post is to encourage you not to despise the days of small beginnings, be diligent and believe the future holds greater harvest than you can imagine.
Ronald Gerald Wayne co-founded Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) where he owned 10% equity. He served as the venture’s “adult supervision”, drew the first Apple logo, wrote the original partnership agreement between himself, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and also wrote the Apple I manual.
Also note that Apple started with the funding option of Boot Strapping and Upfront payment and Wayne paid a major role. Jobs approached the owner of The Byte Shop, Paul Terrell, who promised to buy 50 of Apple1 only if it came fully assembled. Jobs, Wozniak and Wayne commenced building the machines. Jobs secure the parts needed while Wozniak and Wayne assembled them. Terrell still paid them though he wasn’t fully satisfied with their total delivery and eventually 200 of the Apple I’s were built
However due to personal commitments Wayne sold off his equity in April 12th 1976, got US$800 and left with the Apple Logo and Original Partnership agreement.
This act would have seriously dealt a big blow on Apple, however sometime in the same year 1976, Arthur Rock being a venture capitalist and Mike Markkula developed a new Apple business plan and converted the partnership to a corporation but paid off Wayne to the tune of S$1,500.00 not to hold any claims against the new corporation.
Apple’s recorded sales of US$174,000 in same year 1976, geometrically the sales kept rising, in 1978 Apples’ sales rose to US$7.8 million, in 1980 it rose to US$117 million and in 1982 to US$ 1 billion.
It is worthy to note that Wayne and Jobs were friends and former colleagues at Atari, hence in 1978 which is two years after leaving Apple, Jobs attempted to get him to return but Wayne resisted and chose to join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from Atari where he was and later an electronics company in Salinas, California.
In order to put everything about Apple behind him, about 15 years later, in the early 1990s Wayne sold the original Apple Partnership agreement, signed in 1976 by Jobs, Wozniak and himself for $500. Hence the total payment he got for his participation in the Apple Computers now rose to US$2,800.00.
However In the year 2000, Wayne was invited by Jobs to attend a presentation of new Macs in San Francisco. He received first-class plane tickets, was met at the airport by Jobs’ chauffeur, and was put up in a luxury room at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. After the conference, Jobs, Wozniak and Wayne ate a long lunch at Apple’s cafeteria and reminisced about old times.
SOME IMPACTS OF WAYNE’S DECISIONS.
- Apple Market Cap as at May 2017 was worth US$752Billion, hence 10% Equity in Apple as at May 2017 was worth about US$75Billion.
- The original Apple Partnership agreement, signed in 1976 by Jobs, Wozniak and himself which he sold for $500 was later auctioned at $1.6 million in 2011.
SOME OF WAYNES QUOTES
“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,”
Wayne has stated that he does not regret selling his share of the company as he made the “best decision with the information available to me at the time”. He also said he felt the Apple enterprise “would be successful, but at the same time there would be significant bumps along the way and I couldn’t risk it. I had already had a rather unfortunate business experience before. I was getting too old and those two were whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail and I couldn’t keep up with these guys.”
“Nobody could have anticipated how big Apple would become,”
“He was a very focused fellow,” “You never wanted to be between him and where he wanted to go, or you’d find footprints on your forehead. To put it simply, if you had your choice between Steve Jobs and an ice cube, you’d nuzzle up to the ice cube for warmth. But that’s what it took for him to turn Apple into what it became.”
“What most people know is that I was there at the beginning and walked away; what they don’t know is I had very good reasons for doing it,” Wayne said in an interview with CNNMoney. “I’ve never regretted the move.”
“I had this Apple contract sitting in my filing cabinet, covered in dust and cobwebs, and I thought, ‘What do I need to hold onto that for?’” “In that, you have the story of my life,”
In July 2011, Wayne published a memoir titled, Adventures of an Apple Founder. Plans for initial exclusivity on the Apple iBookstore did not pan out.