While Steve Jobs and his tech giant Apple Inc has become household names all over the world, there’s actually another forgotten name that cofounded the Apple but much less famous compares to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and that is Ronald G. Wayne.
Ronald Wayne, when he was 42-year old, was one of the three original co-founders of Apple in 1976, alongside with 21-year old Steve Jobs and 25-year old Steve Wozniak. He owned a 10% stake in the company then sold just 12 days after it came into existence for $800 – today, with Apple’s brand value increase 1500% over the last decade, these shares would be worth over $35 billion.
“I felt that the way these guys were going, they would bulldoze their way through anything to make this company succeed, but it was going to be a very rough ride and if I wasn’t careful, I’d end up the richest man in the cemetery,” Wayne tells CNN
Explaining why he quitted, Wayne said ‘’I didn’t separate myself from Apple because of any lack of enthusiasm for the concept of computer products. Aside from any immediate apprehension in regard to financial risks, I left because I didn’t feel that this new enterprise would be the working environment that I saw for myself, essentially for the rest of my days. I had every belief would be successful but I didn’t know when, what I’d have to give up or sacrifice to get there, or how long it would take to achieve that success.’’
Apart from providing much needed mature supervision and advisory during Apple’s early days, Ronald Wayne also drew the first Apple logo, composed the three cofounders’ original partnership agreement, and wrote the Apple I manual.
The first Apple logo designed by Ronald Wayne was a pen-and-ink drawing of Sir Isaac Newton leaning against an apple tree with a portion of a William Wordsworth poem: “Newton . . . . A mind forever voyaging though strange seas of thought . . . alone.” Jobs thought the logo was “too cerebral” and a single apple was chosen with a bite (byte), partly to prevent it from looking like a cherry tomato, according to Owen Linzmayer’s book Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc.
In the interview with Daily Mail, Wayne describes Steve Jobs as socially awkward, volatile, and definitely excitable. ‘If you had your choice between Steve Jobs and an ice cube you would nestle up to the ice cube for warmth. It was essentially his way or the highway in many of his business decisions,’ Wayne says. ‘He was focused and had a determined attitude. If he had some place he wanted to be, the last place you wanted to be was between him and it, because you would have a footprint on your forehead!’
After left Apple, Ronald Wayne turned down the attempts made by Steve Jobs to ask him back to Apple. Although he holds 12 patents, they never brought him money due to lack of capital. Apart from working in computer and electronics industry for his whole life, Ronald Wayne is also an author, who wroteAdventures of an Apple Founder and Insolence of Office. He also appeared on documentary Welcome to Macintosh where he talked about his experiences with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Read more: Steve Jobs and Apple’s Future Brand Value