Ronald Gerald Wayne, who founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and sold his 10 percent share in the company just after 12 days, revealed the reason for his withdrawal from the Cupertino-based technology leader.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television this week, Ron Wayne said his role was that of a 'tie-breaker' between two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak).
Had Wayne been holding the shares, which he sold for just $800 in 1976 and got additional $1,500 later that year in exchange for forfeiting any claims in the company, he would have got more than $35 billion for the stake today.
Wayne further said his bad experience in entrepreneurship, when he started a slot machine company that failed, led to his decision to leave Apple. He said he doesn't regret his decision because of the risk involved in Apple at that stage.
I also realized the fact that I was standing in the shadow of a couple of really brilliant guys here the level of my creativity couldn't possibly match theirs. As I said, I would have wound up doing rather mundane work, Wayne said.
Another co-founder of the company, Steve Wozniak, backed Wayne's decision saying: I figured it was because we were getting parts on credit, building the computers with no money, and selling them for cash to pay off the credit. If anything fell through in that plan Steve Jobs had no savings account or money or friends or relatives with money, and neither did I, so our adult supervision, Ron, might be on the hook for the money. I thought that might have scared him off that he was taking a majority of the risk and he only got 10 percent.
Watch the video to see what Wayne and Wozniak say about Apple's early days and of course about Steve Jobs.