You may not know it, but there is a third co-founder of Apple who was more important than anyone credits.
Today April 1, Apple turns 40, and it does it at its best. It is not one of the most valuable companies in the technology sector, it is one of the most valuable companies in the world, period, worth 600 billion dollars.
Although it started in the computer business, Apple is currently the main representative of the post-PC movement, with the iPhone and iPad as two devices that have drastically changed the market. But the truth is that throughout its history there were many occasions when Apple was about to disappear without anyone being able to do anything to prevent it.
How Ronald Wayne became Apple’s third co-founder
We all know that Apple was born thanks to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; one had the vision and the illusion, and the other had the knowledge and know-how. Together, they were unstoppable, as they demonstrated when they started from scratch and ended up competing against the leading computer manufacturers on the market.
But the two Steves were not alone. What most people don’t know is that There was a third founder of Apple, Ronald Wayne., who was only in the early days of the company but whose role was vital in ensuring that the union of Jobs and Wozniak bore fruit.
Steve Jobs met Wayne when they worked together at Atari (s, that Atari); Jobs was young and had too many ideas in his head, Wayne was 41 years old and had the wisdom and self-control of veterans. Somehow the two became friends, and Jobs realized that He could trust Wayne to be the beacon to guide him when he was lost.
For example, there was a time when Steve Jobs wanted to get into the slot machine businessBut Wayne managed to convince him otherwise. There’s probably a parallel universe where Apple is a slot maker, but luckily Wayne’s guide led Jobs through other challenges.
An irreplaceable figure in the birth of Apple
One day, Jobs had a very interesting request for Wayne: He had to convince Steve Wozniak that the future of the three of them was making computers. And he did it by risking his own money and writing in their own handwriting the agreement that will unite them in the new company, called Apple Computer Inc.
When Apple was founded, Jobs and Wozniak shared 90% of the shares, and left 10% for Ronald Wayne, who will become the mediator between these two great minds, a kind of adult supervisor between two children.
It was no secret that between the two Steve’s they could jump sparks at the slightest chance, and Wayne’s work would be the voice of reason in these situations and come up with a solution that takes all opinions into account.
That was not its only function, Ronald Wayne also designed the original Apple logo, much more complex than the simple bitten apple; The association with Isaac Newton’s famous apple was clearer in its design. Also, the Apple I manual was written by Wayne.
An inevitable division, and one each forgotten
However, soon Wayne realized that his future was not going to be linked to Apple’s. He himself speaks of splitting as inevitable, that would have happened sooner or later; If he had waited just four years, he would have left Apple as a millionaire, but he has never shown remorse for it.
At that time Wayne was still working on Atari and had his own projects; instead, for Jobs and Wozniak, Apple was the only thing they had, and they were more willing to take risks. The drop that filled the glass was an agreement with a small chain of stores called Byte Shop, whereby Apple will manufacture 50 machines with a price to be determined.
In perspective it was a small agreement, but at the time it was extremely important for the survival of Apple, which did not even have enough money to fulfill it, andhad to borrow $ 15,000 (from 1976).
Given this perspective, Wayne did not want to risk, because he had investigated and discovered that Byte Shop had a bad reputation for not paying its suppliers. The only one of the three would read with something to lose, a job, a house, and some savings.So I tried to convince the other two to look for a deal elsewhere, but it was too late.
Ronald Wayne then decided to go on his way and sell his shares for $ 800. Today, 10% of Apple’s shares are worth 60 billion dollarsAlthough Wayne has denied over and over again that this has changed his perspective. He believes that the decision he made was the right one with the information he had, and perhaps it is better that way.
The role of Ronald Wayne was that of support wheels on a bicycle. Once Jobs and Wozniak started pedaling, their role ended, sadly lost in oblivion.