Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are widely recognized in tech circles for founding one of today’s most powerful companies. But did you know there was actually a third member, Ronald Wayne, who also helped start the Apple brand back in 1976? Often portrayed as a forlorn exclusion, Wayne’s past affiliation with the Cupertino company has lead some to call him “the unluckiest man in the world.” And for good reason. So 37-years later, what does a man who sold his 10 percent stake in the company after just twelve days—valued at $35 billion today—remember about Apple and Steve Jobs? Next Shark caught up with Wayne to find out.
Apparently, Wayne was a key member during Apple’s humble beginnings because of his ability to settle disagreements. In fact, he was chosen personally by Steve Jobs for his level-headed approach—something we all know was not a trait Jobs possessed. When Apple was founded, Wayne actually contributed by drawing up the company’s first logo, writing the original company partnership agreement, and even writing the Apple I manual. Someone so deeply embedded from the start has to have to great insight into the company dynamics, right? Absolutely.
In the interview, Wayne explains why he sold his shares just twelve days after Apple was founded, and what it was like working with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In particular, Wayne highlights the kind of personality Jobs had, not just as a person, but as a ruthless business man.
“If you had your choice between Steve Jobs and an ice cube, you’d nuzzle up to the ice cube for warmth,” Wayne told Next Shark. “Jobs was the sort of fellow that played people like pieces on a chessboard and he was very serious about what he did and he had every reason to believe that he was absolutely right—which meant that if your view was different from his, you better have a damn good case to present it.”
The entire interview is fascinating, and sheds light on how the Apple empire was built, and what he, Wozniak and Jobs did for the brand. Jobs in particular wasn’t easy to get along with, and if he didn’t get his way you’d definitely hear about it. But he had incredible business savvy and an unmatchable stage presence. None of that would have been possible, however, without Wayne’s early influence, not just as a diplomat within the company, but his advice to Jobs before Apple was founded.