Ronald Wayne
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Ronald Gerald Wayne (born May 17, 1934) is a retired American electronics industry businessman. He co-founded Apple Computer Company (now
Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company A technology company (or tech company) is an electronics-based technology, technological company, including, for example, business relating to digital electronics, software, and int ...
) as a partnership with
Steve Wozniak Stephen Gary Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, inventor, and entrepreneur, technology entrepreneur. In 1976, with business partner Steve ...
and
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
on April 1, 1976, providing administrative oversight and documentation for the new venture. Twelve days later, he sold his 10% share of the new company back to Jobs and Wozniak for , and one year later accepted a final to forfeit any potential future claims against the newly incorporated Apple.


Early life and education

Wayne was born in
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the United States, U.S. U.S. state, state of Ohio and the county seat of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Cuyahoga County. Located in the northeastern part of the state, it is situated along ...
,
Ohio Ohio () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. Of the List of states and territories of the United States, fifty U.S. states, it is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 34th-l ...
, United States on May 17, 1934. to a
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
family. He trained as a technical draftsman at the
School of Industrial Art The High School of Art and Design is a career and technical education high school in Manhattan, New York City, New York State, United States. Founded in 1936 as the School of Industrial Art, the school moved to 1075 Second Avenue in 1960 and more ...
in New York.


Career

In 1956, aged 22, he moved to California. In 1971, Wayne started his first business, a company selling
slot machine A slot machine (American English), fruit machine (British English) or poker machine (Australian English and New Zealand English) is a gambling machine that creates a game of chance for its customers. Slot machines are also known pejoratively as ...
s. The company failed, with Wayne reflecting in 2014 that, "I discovered very quickly that I had no business being in business. I was far better working in engineering."


Apple

In 1976, Ronald Wayne built the internal corporate documentation systems at the three-year-old
Atari Atari () is a brand name that has been owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by French publisher Atari SA through a subsidiary named Atari Interactive. The original Atari, Inc. (1972–1992), Atari, Inc., ...
, when he met coworkers
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
and
Steve Wozniak Stephen Gary Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, inventor, and entrepreneur, technology entrepreneur. In 1976, with business partner Steve ...
. To help settle one of their typical intense discussions about the design of computers and the future of the industry, Wayne invited the two to his home to facilitate and advise them. In the ensuing two-hour conversation about technology and business, Jobs proposed the founding of a computer company led by him and Wozniak. Those two would each hold a 45% stake so that Wayne could receive a 10% stake to act as a tie-breaker in their decisions. As the venture's self-described "adult in the room" at age 41, Wayne wrote a partnership agreement, and the three founded
Apple Computer Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States. Apple is the List of largest technology companies by revenue, largest technology company by revenue ( ...
on April 1, 1976. Wayne illustrated the first
Apple logo Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States. Apple is the List of largest technology companies by revenue, largest technology company by revenue ( ...
and wrote the
Apple I The Apple Computer 1, originally released as the Apple Computer and known later as the Apple I or Apple-1, is an 8-bit computing, 8-bit desktop computer released by the Apple Computer Company (now Apple Inc.) in 1976. It was designed by Steve W ...
manual. Wayne's business attitude was already risk-averse due to his experience five years prior with the "very traumatic" failure of his
slot machine A slot machine (American English), fruit machine (British English) or poker machine (Australian English and New Zealand English) is a gambling machine that creates a game of chance for its customers. Slot machines are also known pejoratively as ...
business, the debt of which he had spent one year voluntarily repaying. Jobs secured a line of credit to buy product materials for Apple's first order which had been placed by The Byte Shop whose reputation as a notoriously slow-paying vendor gave Wayne great concern for his future. Legally, all members of a
partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, business entity, businesses, interest-based organizations, schoo ...
are personally responsible for any debts incurred by any partner; unlike Jobs and Wozniak, then 21 and 25, Wayne had personal assets that potential creditors could possibly seize. Furthermore, his passion was in original product engineering and in slot machines, and not in the documentation systems he assumed Jobs and Wozniak probably wanted him to do indefinitely at Apple. Believing he was "standing in the shadow of giants" of product-design talent and avoiding financial risk, he quit the company. Reportedly, "Twelve days after Wayne wrote the document that formally created Apple, he returned to the registrar's office and renounced his role in the company", therefore relinquishing his equity in exchange for on April 12, 1976. This period of time however has been disputed by
Steve Wozniak Stephen Gary Wozniak (; born August 11, 1950), also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, computer programmer, philanthropist, inventor, and entrepreneur, technology entrepreneur. In 1976, with business partner Steve ...
, who in an interview said that Wayne left the company after a few months. Wayne has stated in following decades 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 said he had originally believed that 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." Although Apple ended up at one point becoming the most valuable company in the world, he said that with the stress of staying with Apple he "probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery." He summarized, "What can I say? You make a decision based on your understanding of the circumstances, and you live with it."


After Apple

Shortly after leaving Apple, Wayne resisted Jobs' attempts to get him to return, remaining at
Atari Atari () is a brand name that has been owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by French publisher Atari SA through a subsidiary named Atari Interactive. The original Atari, Inc. (1972–1992), Atari, Inc., ...
until 1978, when he joined
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a federal research facility in Livermore, California, United States. The lab was originally established as the University of California Radiation Laboratory, Livermore Branch in 1952 in response ...
and later an electronics company in
Salinas, California Salinas (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Salt Marsh or Salt Flats") is a city in California and the county seat of Monterey County, California, Monterey County. With a population of 163,542 in the 2020 Census, Salinas is the most populous city ...
. In the late 1970s, Wayne ran a stamp shop in
Milpitas, California Milpitas (Spanish language, Spanish for "little milpas") is a city in Santa Clara County, California, Santa Clara County, California, in Silicon Valley. As of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, the city population was 80,273. The city' ...
, for a short time. After a number of break-ins, he moved his stamp operations to his home. Steve Jobs approached him again as a business contact for Apple, but Wayne refused to even forward Jobs' proposal to purchase a friend's company. Wayne's principle was that his friend should retain ownership under exclusive license to Apple instead of selling, but he would later express regret for having blocked the contact instead of allowing the decision to be made directly. In the early 1990s, Wayne sold the original Apple partnership contract paper, signed in 1976 by Jobs, Wozniak, and himself, for . In 2011, the contract was sold at auction for $1.6 million. Wayne has stated that he regrets that sale. Circa 2004, aged 70, Wayne claims he was robbed of his life savings, which he kept in a strongbox in his home. Amongst the assets he held was 145 ounces of
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
(~$247,000 as of November 2022) and $3,000 worth of
silver coins Silver coins are considered the oldest mass-produced form of coin A coin is a small, flat (usually depending on the country or value), round piece of metal A metal (from ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, qua ...
; the precious metals were never recovered. To cover expenses, Wayne was compelled to sell his house and retire to a
mobile home park A trailer park,caravan park, mobile home park, mobile home community or manufactured home community is a temporary or permanent area for mobile homes and travel trailers. Advantages include low cost compared to other housing, and quick and eas ...
in
Pahrump, Nevada Pahrump ( ) is an Unincorporated towns in Nevada, unincorporated town located at the southernmost tip of Nye County, Nevada, Nye County, Nevada, United States, about west of Las Vegas, Nevada. Pahrump lies adjacent to the Nevada–California bo ...
, where he sells stamps and rare coins, and plays penny slots at a casino; he later sold off old Apple memorabilia to collectors to pay off bills. Wayne never owned an Apple product until 2011, when he was given an
iPad 2 The iPad 2 is a tablet computer, tablet designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. Compared to IPad (1st generation), the first iPad, as the second model in the iPad line, it gained a faster multi-core processor, dual core Apple A5, A5 pro ...
at the Update Conference in
Brighton Brighton () is a seaside resort and one of the two main areas of the City of Brighton and Hove in the county of East Sussex, England. It is located south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Ag ...
, England. He holds a dozen patents.


Media

In July 2011, Wayne published a memoir titled ''Adventures of an Apple Founder''. His plan for initial exclusivity on the Apple
Books A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many page (paper), pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bookbinding, bound together and protected by a book cover, cover. Th ...
store did not materialize. He wrote a socioeconomic treatise titled ''Insolence of Office'', released on October 1, 2011 (four days prior to the death of Steve Jobs), which he describes as this: He appeared in the documentary '' Welcome to Macintosh'' in 2008, where he describes some of his early experiences with Jobs and Wozniak.


References


External links

*
Ron Wayne interview by OMT

NPR report "Lost" Apple Founder Has No Regrets
– June 13, 2010
Ron Wayne, Apple Co-Founder, Shares Steve Jobs' "Richest Man in the Cemetery" Sentiment Almost Verbatim
, ''
Village Voice ''The Village Voice'' is an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newspaper, alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf (publisher), Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, th ...
'', October 8, 2011 * {{DEFAULTSORT:Wayne, Ronald 1934 births Living people Apple Inc. employees Apple Inc. executives Businesspeople from Cleveland High School of Art and Design alumni People from Pahrump, Nevada