Apple Co-Founder Ron Wayne Could Have Been Worth $35 Billion Today

Apple's "fifth Beatle," Ron Wayne, sold his 10% stake in the company two weeks after it was founded to avoid pushing paper and startup risks. That $35 billion would have been a lot of paper, Ron. I would have pushed.

Wayen was brought on by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs (with whom he had worked at Atari) to serve as an intermediary during disagreements or other business-related matters that would have benefitted from an informed, calculating third party.

"[Jobs] had a modest disagreement with Steve Wozniak over some philosophical issue, and I happened to be there at the time. We had a conversation in which, successfully, I was able to get the issue resolved," Wayne said in a television interview with Bloomberg earlier this week. "At the moment, Steve Jobs was very impressed with that bit of diplomacy and suggested immediately that we form a company with he and Wozniak each having 45% and myself having 10% as a philosophical tie-breaker in the case of any disputes in the future."

There are stories like this throughout the tech and entertainment space, sure, but you have to figure with Apple, which has flirted ever so gently with ExxonMobile as the most valuable company in the world in recent weeks, this stings just a tad bit more than the rest. [Bloomberg via AppleInsider]

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