Ronald Wayne’s $3.1 Billion Mistake
Posted February 09, 2022
On the day Apple was founded, here’s how the founders divided the shares:
Steve Jobs — 45%
Steve Wozniak — 45%
Ronald Wayne — 10%
You’ve heard of Steve Jobs. You’ve heard of Steve Wozniak.
You probably haven’t heard of Ronald Wayne.
Why? Because Wayne didn’t last.
12 days after they founded Apple, Wayne sold his 10% stake for $800. One year later, he forfeited any potential future claims for $1,500.
In total, he walked away from Apple with $2,300.
In 2018, when Apple became the first $1 trillion company, his shares would’ve been worth $100 billion.
Today, with Apple’s market cap hovering around 2.87 trillion… it’s worth a lot more.
It doesn’t end there.
In the 1990s, Wayne sold his copy of Apple’s original founding documents for $500.
In 2011, the same documents were auctioned off by the buyer for nearly $1.6 million at a Sotheby’s auction.
We All Make Mistakes
In many ways, we all can kind of feel Ronald Wayne’s pain.
We’ve all missed the boat. Made mistakes. Have regrets.
Regret is a powerful teacher. That is, if we can learn from it.
Truth is, 99% missed the boat on today’s titans.
But consider when many of them were founded:
Intel → 54 years ago
Microsoft → 47 years ago
Apple → 46 years ago
Amazon → 28 years ago
Netflix → 25 years ago
Google → 24 years ago
SpaceX → 20 years ago
Tesla → 19 years
Facebook → 18 years
Twitter → 16 years
Airbnb → 14 years
Uber → 13 years
Zoom → 11 years
That, on average, is about 25 years.
In 25 years, I bet half of these companies won’t exist. They’ll be replaced by new industry titans.
Right now, many of those titans are just getting started.
And these new titans will look nothing like the companies today.
Most people can’t see it yet…
But many of today’s largest companies will be replaced by trillion-dollar crypto networks.
And here’s the thing.
Years from now, you might look back on this email…
And one of two things will happen:
You’ll either feel like Ronald Wayne.
Or you’ll feel like the person who bought 10% of Apple for $800.
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