What If?: The Story of Apple’s Third Co-Founder

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The story of Ron Wayne – co-founder of Apple – is both intriguing and sad. 76-year-old Wayne spends his days selling gold coins and stamps out of his home in the desert with a .38 caliber Police Special strapped to his leg rather than living in the lap of luxury. That’s not exactly what Jobs and Woz are doing these days.

For 12 whole days, Wayne owned 10 percent of Apple, which would be worth $22 billion today had he stuck around. 12 days into forming Apple Computer, Wayne decided to renounce is stake in the company for fear of debt collectors coming after him since he was the only one of the three with any assets. For his troubles, Wayne cashed out to the tune of $2300 (his 10% garnered $800, but he received a check for $1500 a year later when Apple was incorporated). What could have been is something Wayne tries not to think about.

“I don’t waste my time getting frustrated about things that didn’t work out,” he says. “I left Apple for reasons that seemed sound to me at the time. Why should I go back and ‘what if’ myself? If I did, I’d be in a rubber room by now.”

“Unfortunately, my whole life has been a day late and a dollar short,” Wayne says.

A risk taker he is not but the designer of the original Apple logo and scribe of the Apple 1 user manual now spends his day as a slot jockey waiting for his jackpot to come.

[via Mercury News]