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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:38 AM   #1
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Apple Co-Founder Ron Wayne on "Why I Left Apple"






Ron Wayne, Apple, Inc.'s sometimes forgotten third co-founder, has posted a short essay entitled "Why I Left Apple Computer After Only 12 Days, In My Own Words". The piece notes that though he sold his share of Apple for pennies on the dollar, he has no regrets. Instead, he was looking to change the world in his own way.
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I didn't separate myself from Apple because of any lack of enthusiasm for the concept of computer products. Aside from any immediate apprehension in regard to financial risks, I left because I didn't feel that this new enterprise would be the working environment that I saw for myself, essentially for the rest of my days. I had every belief would be successful but I didn't know when, what I'd have to give up or sacrifice to get there, or how long it would take to achieve that success.

[...]

To counter much that has been written in the press about me as of late, I didn't lose out on billions of dollars. That's a long stretch between 1976 and 2012. Apple went through a lot of hard times and many thought Apple would simply go out of business at various times in its maturity. I perhaps lost tens of millions of dollars. And quite honestly, between just you and me, it was character building.

If I had known it would make 300 people millionaires in only four years, I would have stayed those four years. And then I still would have walked away. Steve and Steve had their project. They wanted to change the world in their way. I wanted to change the world in my own.
Rather than follow Jobs and Wozniak in remaking computing, Wayne had made his own attempt at putting a "dent in the universe". He published a book late last year that he says is the result of 40 years of research. Insolence of Office is described as a look at the foundations of the American Republic, the Constitution, and the nature of money.

Wayne notes, with full self-awareness of the arrogance of the statement, "the writing and publication of Insolence is, in itself, enough to justify my existence on this planet."

Wayne published his autobiography entitled Adventures of an Apple Founder: Atari, Apple, Aerospace & Beyond in the fall of 2011. Both the autobiography and Insolence of Office are available on Amazon and the iBookstore.

via The Next Web

Article Link: Apple Co-Founder Ron Wayne on "Why I Left Apple"
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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poor guy is missing out on some major cash!
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rmhop81 View Post
poor guy is missing out on some major cash!
Did you read the article? He said he did not regret his decision and that it was character building.

He seems like a great and humble man to me.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post

Ron Wayne, Apple, Inc.'s sometimes forgotten third co-founder,
Apple Computer. Apple, Inc. didn't exist back then.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Did you read the article? He said he did not regret his decision and that it was character building.

He seems like a great and humble man to me.

That's what rather most people would say if they'd made that big of a bad decision.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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It's not clear for me in what way he "put the dent in the Universe"... a book? that's too small, or I simply miss something?
Anyways, if he is happy with what he has, then this is a major success! Nowadays it is so hard and rather uncommon to be humble and happy with his/her current position.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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So, his own dream that he keeps referring to? Obviously it was a career in television.

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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rmhop81 View Post
poor guy is missing out on some major cash!
In investing, any decision that errs on caution and doesn't expose your principal to risk of catastrophic loss is acceptable. Blind risk is not investing, it's speculation. Things could very easily have gone the other way. I had a few thousand shares of Apple years ago, which would be worth millions of dollars today. Sure, I joke about what a lack of foresight it was... but let me put some perspective on this:

In 1996 I actually wrote a paper, probably one of a few floating out there at the time, discussing the framework for large scale internet distribution of music which was still a few years away. If anyone should have seen the road ahead it was me. I had more information than most people on that subject.

Fast forward to 2000, the market crashes, and I'm forced to liquidate my position in Apple because I was not being a wise investor... I was taking risks. I had to cover other positions. One of the positions I chose to liquidate was Apple, because at the time it didn't seem like it had a future. And this was very likely... All they'd had under their belt (since their rebirth) by then was the iMac.

A few months later iPod came out. It was not an overnight game changer. It still had some way to go before it made a dent... because it took another three years before iTunes Music Store came out and the product ecosystem began to unfold.

Wayne wasn't a rich man to begin with so I can understand his dilemma. But you learn and you move on. I'm much more adept at seeing opportunity now, but my risk aversion is very sharp. I don't throw myself blindly into "the next big thing"... that's a surefire way to expose your principal to potential catastrophic loss.

As a shrewd investor, your job ought to be to seek adequate, not outrageous, returns, and let them compound over time... You'll invariably make bad decisions from time to time. Winning isn't about making the slam dunk again and again. Nobody does that (those who say they do are hiding their losses).

But all you need to really do is know how to insure yourself against catastrophic consequences for the bad decisions you are inevitably going to make from time to time. If you keep moving forward slowly, you'll still beat someone who runs so hard they keep getting the wind knocked out of them every few paces.

----------

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Originally Posted by Scarrus View Post
That's what rather most people would say if they'd made that big of a bad decision.
Not necessarily. Some people never learn from their mistakes. Persistence is not always a virtue. But I wouldn't characterize Wayne's move as a mistake. Choosing to avoid unforeseeable risk for something more stable at a point in your life when you maybe have a family to think about is not a mistake. A mistake is when you risk half a million dollars blindly on a company you know next to nothing about (sorry boys, technical analysis, i.e. "chartistry", doesn't tell you anything relevant), then you wake up one morning and watch $70,000 vaporize two seconds after the opening bell. Been there, done that.

I'm investing now, not speculating, and generating far better compounded returns than some fool who borrows 4:1 to make 100 trades a year that return him $50,000 (What he miscalculates as a 1000% return when it's actually a 2% return after counting up the total cost basis, not even accounting for risk exposure).

Am I making money as fast as the next guy? Probably not... but I'm not losing money as fast as the next guy either. ;-)

Any number times zero is still zero.
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Last edited by Avatar74; Feb 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:10 PM   #9
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Man, for someone who (rightly) keeps downplaying his part, he sure likes to be noticed.

He was technically part of Apple for a few days as a tiebreaker between Jobs and Woz. Before they did anything.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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Man, for someone who (rightly) keeps downplaying his part, he sure likes to be noticed.
Posting the essay on Facebook is hardly what I'd call wanting to be noticed. We just happen to know about it because someone on Macrumors went out and found it and reported it here. Most of the world has no idea who Ron Wayne is and I suspect he's okay with that.

I can't stand having more than 100 friends on Facebook... I can't imagine the flocks of nerds who look him up.

Oh, wait, yes I can. I have a friend who had a brief part in The Crow with Brandon Lee. It's really creepy when people start bugging her on her feed with questions about Brandon Lee. People don't see history through quite the same lens as the ones who were actually experiencing it.

That's not a value judgment. It's just different perspectives... what seems so much more important to you or I is also tainted by how the media portray it. Look at the Facebook movie, making some things out to be far more clandestine or magical than whatever the mundane reality was in the moment...

I never really thought of the paper I wrote in 1996 as a game changer. I hadn't really comprehended the implications. But others who read it are puzzled why I'm not a silicon valley billionaire. *shrug*
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Scarrus View Post
That's what rather most people would say if they'd made that big of a bad decision.
Interesting that you assume someone is lying when they say they made the best decision for themselves at the time and didn't get filthy rich because of it.

I guess we just look at the world differently.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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Apple Computer. Apple, Inc. didn't exist back then.
Changing a name doesn't mean you suddenly started your existence right at the moment of the name change. Apple, Inc. certainly existed back then, it was just had a different name at the time.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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That's what rather most people would say if they'd made that big of a bad decision.
Just as bad as the fifth Beatle's
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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I have no issue with money doesn't buy happiness as I know that it really doesn't, but I don't believe him when he says he has no regrets.
This guy is always on every single apple interview/tv show. He comes across (to me anyway), as a man who missed the boat and is desperately trying to convince everyone that he didn't.
I just don't believe him.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:47 PM   #15
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Hindsight is 20/20, but it has to hurt every time he sees an Apple product.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 12:59 PM   #16
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Ya know this guy keeps talking and saying he doesn't regret it but he keeps talking about it over and over again. And didn't he sell paperwork he had from back then?
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 01:18 PM   #17
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Ya know this guy keeps talking and saying he doesn't regret it but he keeps talking about it over and over again. And didn't he sell paperwork he had from back then?
Talking about something a lot doesn't necessarily mean you regret it. I talk about this girl I knew in high school. I don't regret not being with her. Introspection and reflection are not always indicative of regret.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 01:43 PM   #18
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The correct answer is... cos your a %$£ing idiot!
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 01:51 PM   #19
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so, his own dream that he keeps referring to? Obviously it was a career in television.

image

lol
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 02:11 PM   #20
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Man, for someone who (rightly) keeps downplaying his part, he sure likes to be noticed.

He was technically part of Apple for a few days as a tiebreaker between Jobs and Woz. Before they did anything.
We know Apple was successful, but had the three of them stayed together anything could have happened. An unhappy founder, between Woz and Jobs staying on for the promise of riches? Sounds like the alternative could have easily been a recipe for disaster.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 02:27 PM   #21
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it may have been the best decision for him at that time, but that doesnt mean he somehow wishes that he stayed. IM sorry but given how successful apple is right now and with all the money apple has on standby thats just redonkulous
to me for him to say yea and i would make the same decision all over again.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 02:46 PM   #22
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it may have been the best decision for him at that time, but that doesnt mean he somehow wishes that he stayed. IM sorry but given how successful apple is right now and with all the money apple has on standby thats just redonkulous
to me for him to say yea and i would make the same decision all over again.
Oh,FFS, that was more that 30 years ago! But of course people here have always made the best decision all the time! (sarcasm). It just happens that Apple productized the iPod and skyrocketed from there. Had they not, well, who the **** knows!

Go back to 1997 and tell me what you would say...
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 02:58 PM   #23
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Did you read the article? He said he did not regret his decision and that it was character building.

He seems like a great and humble man to me.
that doesn't change the fact that he missed out on some major major cashola!
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 02:58 PM   #24
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I give this guy a lot of respect. I could see how such a loss would be character building, and feel that many of us have made similar moves in life, that we later learn from.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 03:07 PM   #25
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props to this guy.

Seems wasn't his thing - and he was smart enough to know it.

There were years and years and years at apple which were miserable. Had he stayed, or been allowed to stay, at what personal cost would those future dollars have come at?

I can think of a lot of people with small fortunes that sure seemed pretty unhappy. Michael Jackson / Whitney Houston comes to mind for some odd reason.

This isn't like loosing a lottery ticket and kicking yourself for the rest of one's life. This was deciding to spend one's entire life doing something else that'd bring satisfaction.

I'd say Wayne got a win.
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