12. The third founder of Apple sold his share early on
Imagine finding out that you’d sold shares in one of the most successful companies ever – after they made their fortune and you might be able to spare some sympathy for Ronald Wayne, the man who lost out big on Apple. After founding the Apple Computer Company in 1976 with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack, who he’d met at Atari, Wayne owned a 10% stake in what was to become one of the biggest brands in the world.
But once he’d spent a mere 12 days as a founder, he decided to pull out, and sold his entire take to Wozniack for a paltry $800! The problem was, Apple was a young company – both Jobs and Wozniack were in their early 20’s and inexperienced, whereas Wayne had a house with a mortgage, along with other assets.
To prevent Apple’s debts falling on his shoulders he made the decision to back away from the brand – but his choice proved to be an unfortunate one, as today his stake would be worth $300 billion. We bet Wayne wishes he had a crystal ball back then, as if he’d stayed on as a stakeholder, he’d never have had to worry about his financial security ever again – in fact his $300 billion worth would have made him one of the richest men in the world!