Ron Wayne could have been a part of history, instead he’s a footnote.Wayne was a founding member of Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. But after just 12 days he changed his mind and backed away from the company losing out on a fortune.
He decided to explain on Facebook once and for all why he left Apple:
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.
And here’s how much money he lost out on:
To counter much that has been written in the press about me as of late, I didn’t lose out on billions of dollars. That’s a long stretch between 1976 and 2012. Apple went through a lot of hard times and many thought Apple would simply go out of business at various times in its maturity. I perhaps lost tens of millions of dollars. And quite honestly, between just you and me, it was character building.
If I had known it would make 300 people millionaires in only four years, I would have stayed those four years. And then I still would have walked away. Steve and Steve had their project. They wanted to change the world in their way. I wanted to change the world in my own.
He wrote his essay to promote a new book he has, Insolence of Office. You can check it out here.