Ron Wayne, Apple’s Lost Founder

A few days ago someone sent me an article about Ron Wayne, who, thirty-five years ago, along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, founded the company that went on to become Apple Computer. 

Here is a link to the article.


Wayne quit the partnership twelve days later.

He sold his 10% share in the company for $2300.00.

The article told the story in fewer than 1000 words and fattened it with another 9000 words of detail and anecdote.

Ron Wayne lives in Pahrump, Nevada, and is the sort of person I have sought out in the last year, an unlikely person with a story. 

Wayne is interesting because he is a footnote in someone else’s life. 

Subtract out Steve Jobs, and you have someone who chooses to live in an area hostile to life and comfort, uncrowded by people, surrounded by his eclectic collections, earning a supplemental living trading in coins.  HIs life is partly driven by his belief that a currency collapse is nigh. 

Interesting that the picture that emerges of Steve Jobs since his death is that of a control freak and a ruthless businessman.  He died deified for being worth over eight billion bucks.  

He was presumed to be a creative genius, but his ability was in how to apply the creative designs of others.   I do admire him for what he achieved.

I’ve yet to read anything that portrayed Jobs as a nice man, a loving man, or man with an ounce of selflessness.

I believe he was as he chose to be.  I admire him for that and for giving us some of the great adages of our time.

OBTW, Wayne sold his copy of the original contract at auction for $1,600,000.

6 Responses to Ron Wayne, Apple’s Lost Founder

  1. karen wittgraf says:

    Interesting. Sometimes people do come through honestly in their beliefs and this Wayne guy must be one of them. The temptation of getting and growing money is like a gambling disease and, of course, I can’t even wrap that around my head. I admire stories like this one, where “I did it my way” is a song of values.

  2. Colleen Rae says:

    Fascinating. I read the entire article. I’ve never been a fan of Jobs, but I guess he has to be acknowledged for his talents. My daughter thinks he was a genius. Anyone who is colder than an ice cube has a lot of lessons to learn on this planet.
    BTW, I’d never heard of Wayne before. Thanks Al. You always tend to educate us as well as entertain. Isn’t that the ultimate in writing skills?

  3. Dave L says:

    I like that: “the lost founder.”

    Eccentrics who take pride in stupid or unlucky decisions don’t impress me. Money buys opportunity – that’s a given. The fact that he auctioned his contract is evidence he too believed – was really not such an idealist..

    $2300 is nothing. He must have felt there was a gem in the making or he wouldn’t have been there in the first place. You imply that he sold out because he didn’t like Jobs, that maybe Jobs expected him to do something – I should read the article – but he didn’t want to comply. So stuffed with pride he sold out. He could have left, retained his share, and later bought Nebraska.

    I had a partner once, in a gallery, who in a huff of anger tendered all of his shares to me. I won. He lost … all but his miserable pride.

    As to Jobs, he wasn’t and didn’t claim to be anything other than he was – one hell of a good business man with an eye toward product, and one of the best. He did what he did exceptionally well and that’s what all of us strive for – at least those of us striving. No one moves the planet along being nice – maybe Christ, but even he had a passion that ignited some and pissied off a whole lot of others. Jobs may not have been the father that knows best, but no one assassinated him.

  4. David Bauer says:

    Ron Wayne’s narrative is an interesting one, but we have more public evidence of the world changing contributions of Steve Jobs. As somebody said, “The good that men do lives after them, while the bad is often interred with their bones.”

    Happy Holidays, Al and all. We are in Orinda this year with our son and four of our six grandchildren.

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