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Ronald Wayne’s $3.1 Billion Mistake

Chris Campbell

Posted February 09, 2022

Chris Campbell

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.

Big mistake.

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.

Web3 Barons

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.

Chris Campbell
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