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.