It is true: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were the founders of Apple Computer.
But there was a secret 3rd founder, too. And his name is Ronald Wayne. He was a 10% owner of Apple.
He even designed Apple Computer’s first logo – check it out:
Just 2 weeks after founding Apple Computer, Ronald Wayne was forced to sell all his Apple stock holdings.
At the time of Apple’s founding, the 3 founders formed a partnership, not a corporation.
This became an immediate issue. Because Ronald Wayne’s failing business (a slot machine company) presented a legal problem. Legally, all members of a partnership are personally responsible for any debts incurred by any partner.
In order to protect Apple from Wayne’s failing business debts, he was forced to sell his holdings. He relinquished his equity for just $800. And he never reinvested back into Apple Computer.
Here is the fascinating part. If Ronald Wayne would have remained a 10% stockholder, he would be worth tens of billions of dollars today.
Instead, Wayne retired to a mobile home park in Pahrump, Nevada. Ironically, he never purchased an Apple product. (Allegedly, he was given an iPad 2 at the Update Conference in Brighton, England in 2011.)
This terrific documentary about the Macintosh Computer features a seldom seen video of Ronald Wayne – about 2 minutes in: