While Steve Wozniak designed the computer, Steve Jobs was in charge of marketing. And Ronald Wayne is the mediator.
When founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had a heated discussion about computer design and the future of the industry, Ronald Wayne invited them both to his home to facilitate and advise them.
A two-hour conversation about technology and business. Steve Jobs proposed starting a computer company led by him and Steve Wozniak. The two hold 45% of the shares. The remaining 10% belongs to Ronald Wayne. Wayne acts as a mediator in discussions.
On April 1, 1976, Apple Computer Company (roughly translated: Apple Computer Company) was born. Jobs and Wozniak wanted to make computers small enough that people could fit them in their homes or offices. In other words, they want the computer to be user-friendly.
That vision sparked the personal computer revolution and made Apple the symbol of American business. Thanks to the success of the company, the life of the three founders changed. However, each person has a life like no other.
1. Business brain – billionaire Steve Jobs
In 1976, when Jobs was just 21 years old, he and Wozniak started Apple Computer in the Jobs family garage. The first computer they sold was the Apple I for $666.66, because Woz liked repeating numbers. This price is significantly cheaper than the computers of the same time from IBM or HP, costing thousands of dollars.
Woz’s second computer is much neater and prettier than its predecessor, priced at only $1,298. About 50,000 Apple II units were sold in just two years of its launch. By 1982, the reported figure was 750,000 units sold, helping the company’s value skyrocket by 1983.
But by 1980, the company’s shine began to wane. Sales fell short of expectations, and Jobs introduced the Mac as a business computer. But with small memory, no hard drive, and no networking capabilities, the Mac barely had the features the American company wanted.
Steve Wozniak and young Steve Jobs.Photo: Britannica.
For Jobs, this event caused serious trouble. In 1983, Jobs was ousted from the board by CEO John Sculley, whom Jobs had chosen to help him run the company. Stripped of all power and control, Jobs eventually sold his stake in Apple and resigned in 1985.
Jobs then founded a new hardware and software business called NeXT, Inc. In 1997, Jobs returned to the position of CEO of Apple. He was the man who revived the company in the 1990s.
With a new management team, changed stock options, and a self-set annual salary of $1 a year, Jobs got the company back on track. Ingenious products, effective branding campaigns and stylish designs have once again captured the attention of consumers. In the years that followed, the company introduced revolutionary products. All of these are the reasons for the development of technology.
In 2011, Forbes estimated most of Jobs’ net worth at $6.5-7 billion, thanks to the sale of Pixar (Jobs bought 1986) to The Walt Disney Company in 2006. If not stock sales Apple in 1985, when he left the company, Jobs’ net worth was at a staggering $36 billion.
On October 5, 2011 at the age of 56, Jobs died of respiratory arrest related to a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.
2. Talented inventor Steve Wozniak
Stephen Gary Wozniak (or “Woz”) is considered one of the most famous introverts in the world. He has been called “the brains behind Apple”, “the father of the personal computer revolution”. According to The Richest, Woz’s net worth is currently estimated at $140 million.
In 1975, Woz began developing his first product, the Apple I – a machine dubbed a home-made device. The design of the Apple I is still intact with the circuit board and the buyer has to buy an additional case, power, keyboard and screen.
The first product was not very successful. But Woz still diligently embarked on the second line of computers, introduced on April 16, 1977. Apple II was chosen as the desktop platform for the business world’s first “killer app”: VisiCalc. The app created a business marketplace for the Apple II and gave home users one more reason to buy a computer: Office compatibility.
In 1981, Woz experienced the shock of a horrible plane crash. Woz suffered severe head and face injuries and lost his memory five weeks later. He doesn’t remember anything about the accident or his name… Woz says it was the Apple II computer games that helped him regain his memory. Later that year, he enrolled back at UC Berkeley to complete his suspended degree.
In 1985, Woz left Apple. He said the company “was going in the wrong direction for the past five years” and then sold most of its stock. However, he was never officially kicked out of the company. He is still on the list of official employees with a salary of about 120,000 USD/year.
Despite retiring from Apple, Woz continues to support new businesses. He serves as an advisor or board member for other companies. In addition, he also founded many companies. Besides technology, Woz’s second lifelong goal has always been to teach elementary school because of the important role teachers play in students’ lives. He eventually taught computers to children in grades 5-9, including teachers.
3. Ronald Wayne: Missed the opportunity to become a billionaire
As a co-founder, Ronald Wayne’s name is less known. As the oldest, Wayne wrote an agreement outlining the responsibilities of each person when establishing the company. He also designed the company’s first logo and wrote the Apple I user manual. The logo depicts physicist Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with an apple on his head.
Less than a year later, the company changed its logo to a half-eaten apple — the iconic image consumers see today.
Co-Founder Agreement Apple Inc.signed by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne since 1976. Photo: CNBC Make It.
Wayne’s business attitude is inherently risk averse because he has experienced “traumatic” failures in this field. When he founded the company, Jobs had to sell his Volkswagen for a few hundred dollars, and Woz sold his HP-65 computer for 500 dollars. In addition, Jobs also borrowed $ 15,000 to buy supplies.
At that time, both Steve had no money. Wayne, on the other hand, has built assets, including a house. Wayne fears financial burden. So 12 days after founding the company, he decided to sell 10% of the shares to Jobs and Woz for $ 800 (equivalent to $ 3,810 in 2021). According to Celebrity Net Worth, that 10% stake is worth more than $200 billion today. If he still owns this 10% stake, Wayne could now be a billionaire.
However, Wayne has stated that he has never regretted this decision. Mainly because he knew he wouldn’t thrive at the company. Wayne felt out of place, like he was “standing in the shadow of intellectual giants”.
Wayne kept his original Apple contract from 1976 for many years. In the early 1990s, he sold it for $500.
“The contract used to be kept in a filing cabinet covered with dust and cobwebs. I thought: ‘What do I need to keep it for?’” he shared. According to The Filthy Rich Guide, in 2011, the same contract was auctioned for $1.59 million.