Apple’s third founding partner tells all

Ben Camm-Jones
7 September, 2011
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Ronald G Wayne, the third founding partner of Apple Computer, has released his autobiography.

Adventures of an Apple Founder contains a foreword by Steve Wozniak – Apple employee number one – and tells the story of Wayne, who founded Apple Computer with Wozniak and Steve Jobs, only to leave the company a matter of days later.

Wayne, now 77, worked with Jobs at Atari before helping to set up the company. He also drew the first Apple logo and compiled the partnership agreement between himself, Jobs and Woz.

He quit Apple Computer as, unlike Jobs and Wozniak, he had personal assets that could have been seized by potential creditors. He sold his 10 percent stake in the company for US$800 – if he had hung on to it, it would have been worth around US$35bn, it is estimated.

Jobs tried to tempt Wayne back, but he resisted, instead continuing his career in scientific research and building Las Vegas-style gambling machines. He holds a dozen patents, though apparently never had the capital to make any money from them.

“In the spring of 1976 while working as chief draftsman and product development engineer at the video game maker Atari, Ron assisted a co-worker with the subtle intricacies of forming a small business. It was with Ron’s natural sensibilities, experiences and skills honed over a lifelong career in many disciplines that he offered himself openly as a resource to two much-younger entrepreneurs: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. These same traits would drive Ron’s decision to leave a short time later,” the book’s iTunes description reads.

Adventures of an Apple Founder is not available in the Australian iTunes Store yet. It currently appears on the US site at a retail cost of US$9.99. A Kindle edition is available for US$9.99 through Amazon.comand it is available in paperback too, though only in the US.

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