How much would Apple Co-Founder Ron Wayne's Shares be Worth Today?
Answer: $62 Billion (As of March 31, 2016)
Yesterday was a big milestone for Apple with the launch of its iPhone X. The company was incorporated on April 1, 1976, by three men: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne. Wayne isn't as well known, which makes sense given the fact he sold his 800 shares only 12 days after incorporating, dissolving him of his 10% stake in the company.
As of March 31, 2016, a 10% stake in the company would have been worth a whopping $62 billion according to CNN Money. Now, there's no way that Ron Wayne would be personally worth that much as his ownership would have been diluted when the company took on other investors, but there's no way you can get around the question of "what if?" What if he held on to those measly 800 shares into the 2000s and witnessed their value grow exponentially with continuous product launches like the iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and iWatch.
Interestingly enough, Wayne said he "never regretted" his decision. According to him, he was brought on to "be the grown up in the room" and help iron out ideological disputes between a passionate Jobs and steadfast Wozniak. Plus, his true passion was video games (he met Jobs when they worked together at Atari), and he loved designing products from start to finish. This type of control is something Jobs may have had a hard time with.
In the end Wayne said he lived a happy life. He claims he's not wealthy, but that he's not starving either.
"Would I rather be rich? Of course I'd like a lot of money," Wayne said. "But I have managed. If I just wanted the money, I could have been rich and miserable."