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Forgotten Apple founder has no regrets over decision to quit that cost him millions

23 Feb 2012

Ron Wayne former Apple founder

With Apple's stock price recently passing $500 for the first time, spare a thought for poor old Ron Wayne, the third, forgotten founder of the company who quit after just 12 days over fears he would never see his $800 investment again.

Wayne, though, claims to be fairly sanguine about the whole situation, with a post on Facebook published late Wednesday night explaining his reasons for backing out on the venture with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack.

"Aside from any immediate apprehension in regard to financial risks, I left because I didn't feel this new enterprise would be the working environment that I saw for myself, essentially for the rest of my days," he said.

"I had every belief [Apple] 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."

Wayne also used the post to dismiss any claims that he lost out on countless wealth by leaving the company and insisted the experience he gained has helped him as a person.

"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," he said.

"I perhaps lost tens of millions of dollars. And quite honestly, between just you and me, it was character building."

Wayne's public admission comes as  he publishes a book on "the true nature of money" called Insolence of Office, which is the result of 40 years research, he claims, no doubt helped by the experience he gained at Apple, in those 12 short days.

"If I had known it would make 300 people millionaires in only four years, I would have stayed those four years," he admits.

"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."

At present, with millions of Macs, iPhones and iPads in use across the world, it appears the Steves went some way further to their dream than Wayne, but it's nice to see he's completed on his own goal of finishing his book.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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