Business Technology

The definitive business advent calendar: 12 December – How soon would you quit a new job?

4 min read

12 December 2015

Former deputy editor

As our Christmas countdown continues, we've got a surprise about someone from a very well-known, fruity firm, who left the company's core before it had grown to its full potential...

It’s none other than Ronald Wayne!

You know who Ronald Wayne is, right?

What do you mean, no?

Why, he’s the co-founder of Apple.

Sure, Steve Jobs may have basked in the spotlight – until he was booted from the company – and secured all of the headlines with his fancy iMac, iPhone and other assorted iGadgets, but Wayne was right there alongside him and Steve Woznial in the beginning.

Although it was only for 12 days and his departure saw him rewarded with $800.

Yes, Wayne was involved with setting up the company that consumers around the world are in love with.

He worked with Jobs at Atari where he was on a salary of $22,000 at the time and said they would often dine out at lunch together to discuss the likes of Dow Jones prior to setting up Apple.

In his own words, Wayne said: “I didn’t separate myself from Apple because of any lack of enthusiasm for the concept of computer products. Aside from any immediate apprehension in regard to financial risks, I left because I didn’t feel that this new enterprise would be the working environment that I saw for myself, essentially for the rest of my days.

“I had every belief [it] would be successful but I didn’t know when, what I’d have to give up or sacrifice to get there, or how long it would take to achieve that success.”

Fair comment. As we know, Apple fell on hard times and Jobs was booted from the company before his glorious rival years down the line when he was brought back into the fold and named the firm’s CEO.

Wayne continued: “I didn’t lose out on billions of dollars. That’s a long stretch between 1976 and 2012. Apple went through a lot of hard times and many thought Apple would simply go out of business at various times in its maturity. I perhaps lost tens of millions of dollars. And quite honestly, between just you and me, it was character building.

“If I had known it would make 300 people millionaires in only four years, I would have stayed those four years. And then I still would have walked away. Steve and Steve had their project. They wanted to change the world in their way. I wanted to change the world in my own.”

He has devoted his time to writing and cited his Insolence of Office novel as the result of 40 years of research.

“The $2,300—$800 and then later, another $1,500—I received from Apple Inc. in 1976 would be roughly the same as $9,200 today. I’m sure you would agree with me that’s not bad pay for only 12 days worth of work,” Wayne added.

“However, that increase of inflation is something I predicted decades ago and the driving factors behind that inflation is something I discuss in great detail in my book.

“I’m sure I’ve mentioned this to you before, as a belief that I truly hold (and I know this sounds arrogant as hell), but the writing and publication of Insolence is, in itself, enough to justify my existence on this planet.”

Come back tomorrow to find out what’s behind door number 13 of our advent calendar!

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