Ronald Gerald Wayne
May 17, 1934
|Known for||Co-founder Apple Inc.|
|Website||www.ronaldgwayne.com Official website|
Ronald Gerald Wayne (Ronald G. Wayne) (born May 17, 1934) is a retired American businessman and electronics industry pioneer. Ronald joined with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs as a mentor and adviser just over 15 years their senior. On April 1, 1976 Ronald drafted the original contractural partnership agreement between himself and the two younger gentlemen, creating the Apple Computer Company (now Apple Inc.). Selected by Steve Jobs, Ronald was included as a (10%) owner to arbitrate any disputes that might arise between himself (45%) and Mr. Wozniak (45%). Possessing an unusual but vital set of complementary skills as a technical writer, model builder, draftsman and expert documentation system developer, these skills proved to be a perfect dovetail match for the partnership. In addition to providing administrative oversight and guidance for the fledgling venture, Ronald was very instrumental at the outset in establishing the proprietary nature of Apple products. As soon as Ronald successfully persuaded Wozniak on this pivotal decision, the partnership was formed.
Although he was fully in support of the venture, Ronald elected to formally separate himself from this partnership just 12 days after it was started. He went on to pursue his passion to develop a new line of electronic slot machines replacing the mechanical models of that day. Ronald relinquished his (10%) share of the partnership back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800 (equivalent to $3,810 in 2021), and one year later accepting a final payment of $1,500 (equivalent to $7,143 in 2021) to forfeit any potential future claims he might assert against the newly incorporated Apple.
Wayne was born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States on May 17, 1934. He trained as a technical draftsman at the School of Industrial Art High School in New York City.
In 1956, aged 22, he moved to California. In 1971, Wayne started his first business designing and manufacturing slot machines. This venture failed within its first year of operation.
As Senior Designer, Ronald established the official documentation and materials control systems utilized by Atari. This sophisticated cataloging and inventory tracking system dramatically improved Atari's manufacturing efficiency and eliminated substantial losses attributable to lost, duplicated and mis-filed raw materials required to fabricate final complete video game systems. The documentation system also included operating instructions, circuit diagrams and cabinet designs for all arcade games sold by Atari. As product development manager, Ronald designed video game enclosures and led development of games such as Gran-Track Racing. Ronald's Atari tenure ended following the Warner Communications acquisition.
In 1976, Wayne was well respected for his sophisticated and comprehensive internal corporate documentation systems at the three-year-old Atari. It was at Atari that he met coworkers Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. To assist in mediation of one of their typically intense discussions about the design of computers and the future of the industry, Wayne invited the pair to his home to facilitate and advise them. In the ensuing two-hour conversation about technology and business, Jobs proposed the founding of a computer company led by Wozniak and himself. The two would each hold a 45% stake so that Wayne could receive a 10% stake to act as a tie-breaker in their decisions. As the venture's self-described "adult in the room" at age 41, Wayne drafted the original partnership agreement, and the three founded Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. Wayne created the first illustrations of the Apple logo(known as Apple Newton). He also wrote the Apple I Operations Manual
Wayne's attitude concerning business was already risk-averse following his experience five years prior with the "very traumatic" failure of his slot machine business, the debts from which he had spent one year repaying. Jobs secured a US$15,000 line of credit to purchase materials needed to fabricate Apple's first order placed by The Byte Shop, a business with a reputation as a notoriously slow-paying vendor. This created great anxiety in Wayne concerning his personal financial exposure. Legally, all members of a partnership are personally responsible for any debts incurred by any partner; unlike Jobs and Wozniak, then 21 and 25, Wayne had already acquired a sizable amount of personal assets that potential creditors could possibly seize. Furthermore, his passion was in original product engineering and in slot machines, and not in the documentation systems Jobs and Wozniak expected him to manage, possibly indefinitely at Apple. Believing he was "standing in the shadow of giants" of product-design and eager to shield himself from financial exposure, he exited the company. "Twelve days after Wayne created the document that formally created Apple, he returned to the county registrar's office filing an amendment formally withdrawing his name and involvement in the company". Wayne was later paid US$800 in exchange for relinquishing his equity stake in the company. The exact timeframe of this exit however has been disputed by Steve Wozniak, who in an interview said that Wayne left the company after a few months.
Wayne has stated in the decades that followed, he does not regret selling his share of the company, as he made the "best decision based on the information available at the time". He said he had truly believed that the Apple enterprise "would be successful, but at the same time there could be significant bumps along the way and I couldn't risk it. I had already had a rather unfortunate business experience. I was getting too old and those two men were whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail. I couldn't keep up with these guys." Although Apple ended up at one point becoming the most valuable company in the world, he said that given the risks and stress of staying with Apple he "probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery."
Notable Contributions to the Apple Computer Company
Shortly after leaving Apple, Wayne resisted Jobs's attempts to get him to return, remaining at Atari until 1978, when he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and later Thor Electronics, an electronics manufacturing company in Salinas, California.
In the late 1970s, Wayne ran a stamp shop in Milpitas, California, for a short time. After a number of break-ins, he transfer his stamp operations to his home.
Steve Jobs approached him again as a business contact for Apple, but Wayne refused to forward Jobs's proposal to purchase a friend's company. Wayne's belief was that his friend should retain ownership of the company, supplying this technology to Apple under exclusive license instead of selling the business. Wayne later expressed regret for interfering with this decision instead of allowing the negotiations to be made directly between the parties.
Wayne appeared in the documentary Welcome to Macintosh in 2008, where he describes some of his early experiences with Jobs and Wozniak.
In July 2011, Wayne published a memoir titled Adventures of an Apple Founder. His plan for initial exclusivity on the Apple Books store did not materialize.
Wayne wrote and also released a socioeconomic treatise titled Insolence of Office, released on October 1, 2011 (just four days prior to the death of Steve Jobs), which he describes as this:
...the product of decades of research and observation into the evolution of human governance, and the foundations of the American Constitutional Republic. Through this analysis, the reader is introduced to a complete, yet simplified understanding of the architecture of our Constitution, its foundations, principles, and the essential meaning of its structure all in the context of modern living.
The final chapters of Insolence of Office, accurately describe and predict the swiftly skyrocketing inflation being faced worldwide today. All of this inflationary explosion sources its origin to the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. At this conference, all the major governments of the world removed gold ad the backing for US dollar and all other world currencies. In this book Wayne explains the aggressively rising inflationary spiral being faced currently that he predicts will soon result in end in hyper-inflation and a worldwide financial crash in the years to come. Each of the predictions made in this book in 2011 have since come to pass in 2023.
To further explain the origins of the inflationary crisis and expand upon the actions one might take to protect their personal finances from the predicted catastrophe, Mr. Wayne is scheduled to publish his latest work, Counterfeit Trust and the Nature of Money, to be released on June 17, 2023.
Twelve days after Wayne wrote the document that formally created Apple, he returned to the registrar's office and renounced his role in the company. When Jobs and Wozniak filed for incorporation a year later, Wayne received a letter asking him to officially forfeit any claims against the company, and he received another check, this time for $1,500.
Wayne left Apple for only $800. "What can I say? You make a decision based on your understanding of the circumstances, and you live with it," he said.