The Strange Story of Apple’s Forgotten Founder

Ron Wayne

By now, just about everyone on the planet knows that Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc. Many people also realize that Steve Wozniak was a cofounder when Apple was launched 40 years ago.

But the most intriguing founder of Apple was Ron Wayne, the third member of the team. Wayne had a 10% stake in Apple when it began, but he soon relinquished it because of fears of personal liability if the company didn’t do well.

In an attempt to explain his decision, Wayne later said:

There would be significant bumps along the way, and I couldn’t risk it. I had already had a rather unfortunate business experience before. I was getting too old and those two [Jobs and Wozniak] were whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail, and I couldn’t keep up with these guys.

Because of these fears, Wayne surrendered his share of Apple for just $2300. Today 10% of Apple would have been worth about $70 billion.

Ron Wayne’s choice to bail out of Apple may well have been the worst financial decision in human history—losing out on $70 billion just to play it safe.

But before we’re too hard on Wayne, we each should ask ourselves whether we’ve made similar bets. Have we missed out on God’s provision because we feared failure and were unwilling to take the necessary risks to succeed? Have we bailed out of some enterprise too early, right before our breakthrough came?

Perhaps you have regrets about some decision in your past, wondering what might have been if you had hung in there a little longer. As Ron Wayne predicted about Apple, there will be “significant bumps along the way” if you do the right thing. But the payoff might be beyond your wildest dreams.

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When You Fall Short of Expectations

The Strange Case of Apple’s Disappointing Revenue

We all know what it feels like to let people down. Our boss…spouse…kids…parents…friends…customers…clients. The list goes on.

It feels terrible to let people down.

Apple, one of the world’s most successful companies, let its shareholders down last quarter. The company was expected to take in $76.54 billion in revenue for the quarter (yes, BILLION), but they “only” received a meager $75.9 billion.

Meanwhile, Apple only sold 74.8 million iPhones in the quarter, short of the projected 75.4 million.

How depressing…

In an effort to explain these disappointing results, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that there were “a lot of great things happening in a turbulent environment.”

But Apple shareholders weren’t impressed by this explanation, and the stock value dropped more than 6% today.

There’s a lesson in all of this, of course. Probably several lessons.

If your life is focused on trying to live up to people’s expectations, you will find yourself frustrated and depressed much of the time. Occasionally, someone may give you an “At-a Boy.” But more often than not, you will find yourself living “below expectations.”

Which raises a critical question: WHOSE expectations will govern your outlook on your success or failure?

Put another way, the question is this: WHO are you trying to please?

If your answer is that you want to please EVERYBODY, you might as well check yourself into an insane asylum, because that’s surely where you’re headed.

So…

Each of us must decide who we’re ultimately trying to please. If we want to maintain some degree of sanity, we are wise to make it our primary ambition to please our Heavenly Father rather than anyone on earth. If you want to do a little Bible study on this, here are a few verses: Matthew 3:17, 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, Galatians 1:10, Matthew 25:21.

We also must have the wisdom to reject any unfair or unrealistic expectations people try to pin on us—because they inevitably will from time to time. Remember how Jesus rejected the expectations of those who hoped He would overthrow the Romans and immediately set up His kingdom? He was clear on His mission and wouldn’t let people squeeze Him into their mold.

So here’s my life-changing homework assignment for you: Take some time to get away by yourself and prayerfully review the list of people you’ve been trying to please. Then write down what these people are expecting, and ask the Lord whether those expectations are HIS expectations or something you should discard.

If you take this homework to heart, I have a prediction: You’ll exit the treadmill you’ve been on and once again experience the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

And if your revenue this quarter fails to reach $76 billion (or some other grandiose projection), don’t ask me to feel sorry for you. Instead, I would tell you to be grateful—to celebrate! Things could have been a whole lot worse.

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