Friday, September 14, 2012

Ron Wayne sez do your homework

In every endeavor some people take more risks than others.  You who are doing an amazing job will be remembered whenever people speak of this learning experience (there's a Shakespearean allusion/preview for your next memorization-- let me know if you get it).  I was thinking about this last night when I fell asleep.  Then Ron Wayne came to me in a dream and told me to tell you his story.  No, not John Wayne.  RON Wayne.  I hadn't heard of him either.  But he directed me to p.65 of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and this is what I found:

[After agreeing to partner with Jobs and Wozniak in exchange for a 10% ownership stake in Apple...]
Wayne then got cold feet.  As Jobs started planning to borrow and spend more money, he recalled the failure of his own company.  He didn't want to go through that again.  Jobs and Wozniak had no personal assets, but Wayne (who worried about a global financial Armageddon) kept gold coins hidden in his mattress.  Because they had structured Apple as a simple partnership rather than a corporation, the partners would be personally liable for the debts, and Wayne was afraid potential creditors would go after him.  So he returned to the Santa Clara County office just eleven days later with a "statement of withdrawal" and an amendment to the partnership agreement.  "By virtue of a re-assessment of understandings by and between all parties," it began, "Wayne shall hereinafter cease to function in the status of partner."  It noted that in payment for his 10% of the company, he received $800, and shortly afterward $1,500 more.

Had he stayed on and kept his 10% stake, at the end of 2010 it would have been worth approximately $2.6 billion.  Instead he was then living alone in a small home in Pahrump, Nevada, where he played the penny slot machines and lived off his social security check.

Do your homework.  Know the risks and rewards.  Take action.  As Bukowski wrote and nearly 100 seniors recently recited: "The gods will offer you chances.  Know them.  Take them."


  1. What a depressing outcome. He should of took the risk and chanced himself instead of thinking his past was going to repeat itself.
    If I was him, I'd regret not following through. I know that things change dramatically over time, but hopefully once I set my mind on something I don't give up. Living life with regrets is not a fine way of living. I hope to enjoy my life knowing I tried at everything without wondering, "What if..."

  2. Regret has a way of eating at you and it won't stop until you accept your situation and enjoy the path you are in. We all have regrets and as long as we are not constantly hating ourselves for them then its very normal to have regrets. They derive from human error and we all make mistakes. My sister made a choice when she was 17 that engulfed 9 years of her life, I constantly hear her say "If only I would have...then I would be happy." With this example, the regret is worse than her mistake because she does not enjoy her life, her regret doesn't let her. With Wayne, they paint him to be living the same way as my sister, with regret eating away at him until his dying breath, but I hope this is not the case. Life can be so much more than a business deal and I hope he has learned that.