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Giving up may cost you billion dollars

Popularity 8Viewed 3045 times 2015-5-17 14:19 |System category:Life| dollars

I showed this photo being circulated in Linkedin professional social network. I really do not know what exactly the day this happened, but the incident is true. Ronal Wayne, sold his 10% of share of Apple company in 1976. If you want to know the more about it, I would like to share details about this. (The following information was originally published in my linkedin blog)


Wayne 42, in 1976 (center). Source

In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne started Apple Company. Ronald was providing administrative support and he owned 10 % of shares of the company. However, soon after company started he sold back his shares worth of 800 $ (modern day value at $3230.37) to Jobs and Woznai and left the company. The reason according to his own words was “Apple enterprise would be successful, but at the same time 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 were whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail and I couldn't keep up with these guys." And now it looks like Ronald Wayne did a 100 billion dollar mistake.

Why does it look like Ronald Wayne did a 100 billion dollar mistake?

1. Apple is going to be a 1 trillion dollar company

No company in human history ever made a trillion dollar in any means. Only handful things including US debts passed the trillion dollar margin in our known history. If you begin to think about Standard Oil in 1905, actually it was only 350 million dollars (modern day equivalent of 100 billion dollars). According to analysts of Carl Icahn, Apple Inc which recently hits 700 billion dollar market capitalization will definitely achieve the 1 trillion dollar mile stone.

2. His reasons were not correct

Wayne was 42 years old in 1976. It makes sense he felt old when he was working with two twenties. But he was not that old to quit a fortune.

3. He refused to take risks

He felt bad about previous bitter experiences and thought his fate at Apple enterprise would be the same. It is widely accepted that previous failures would be advantageous in working with a start up, which Wayne had to do was to take the advantages of the lessons he learned.

Now he is 80 years old and I really do not know how he feels about this. Anyway, 18 years ago he told “I have never had the slightest pangs of regret, because I made the best decision with the information available to me at the time. My contribution was not so great that I felt I had been diddled with in any way." It seems although he did a mistake by walking away from such fame and fortune, he has not become lesser character to be paralyzed with bitterness and self-doubt. He just put it behind him and got on with his life.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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