Robert Peckham: Who IS Ronald G Wayne?

Robert Peckham talks about Appule 2012
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MacTechnology's Robert Peckham talks about the star opener of his upcoming Appule event.

As some of you might have read, the organisers of Appule 2012 this October at the Barbican in London have announced that the show will be officially opened by Ronald G Wayne, co-founder of Apple Computers.

Apple fans know that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were the founders of Apple computer, but who is Ronald G Wayne?

Steve Jobs first met Ronald Wayne when they both worked at Atari in the months before Apple was born, and he invited the more business- experienced Ron, who was 20 years senior to the two Steves, to join the company in an administrative role and carry out the official paperwork tasks.

Ron received ten per cent of Apple’s first stock issue for his work, which included designing the first Apple logo, drawing up the very first corporate partnership agreement between the three men, and writing the operations manual for Apple’s first product, the Apple 1. However his involvement in Apple was short-lived. The company was formed on 1st April 1976, and 13 days later Ron had decided the risk might be too great, so he resigned from the company, accepting a total payment of just $2,300 for his Apple stock.

And there the story would have ended if Apple hadn’t gone on to achieve its massive success; on the 35th anniversary of the company in 2011, Ron’s ten per cent stake in Apple would have been worth 35 billion dollars. Ron also held on to his original copies of the first partnership agreement that he had drawn up. These documents naturally carry original signatures from all three of the first partners, and in the late 1980s Ron accepted an offer of $500 for them from a private autograph collector. They have changed hands a number of times since, but these same documents came up for auction in New York last November and fetched a whopping 1.6 million dollars.

Ron now lives modestly in the Nevada desert, and published his biography last year Adventures of An Apple Founder. He accepts only very few offers to appear in public and talk about his life experiences, so Appule is very honoured that he feels this event is important enough for him to fly 5,000 miles to open the show.

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