Apple's founding contract expected to bring $150,000 at auction

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The signed contract that established what would become the world's most valuable tech company is one of the highlights of an upcoming auction, and is estimated to sell for at least $100,000.



It was revealed on Monday that the document which founded Apple Computer Company in 1976, will be sold by Sotheby's in an upcoming books and manuscripts auction, reports Bloomberg.



The original three-page draft is signed by co-founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, and is the third most-valuable lot being sold in the December auction.



?This is a foundation document in terms of financial history, social history and technological history,? said Richard Austin, head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby?s in New York.



Wayne, who was the original owner of the contract, met Jobs while working at Atari Inc. and was later promised a 10 percent stake if he could persuade Wozniak to join Apple. The three founders drafted the official paperwork on April 1, 1976, effectively establishing the fledgling computer company that would turn into today's tech heavyweight.



On April 12, however, Wayne withdrew as partner, receiving $800 for his share of the company. Sotheby's notes that he subsequently received another payment of $1500, though by the end of 2010 his original stake would have been worth an estimated $2.6 billion.



A manuscript dealer, who acquired the founding draft from Wayne, sold the documents to the auction house in the mid-1990's.



?It was right before Jobs rejoined Apple,? Austin said. ?At the time, everyone thought that Apple was pretty much finished.?



Jobs, whose closely guarded personal life was recently exposed in a biography by Walter Isaacson, was seen by many as the driving force behind Apple's dramatic turnaround in becoming one of the largest companies in the world.



The tech guru's untimely death in October generated an enormous amount of press, which is part of the reason Sotheby's is selling the documents.



?With everything in the news, this seems to be the time to do it,? Austin said.



Auction lot featuring Apple's original founding documents | Source: Sotheby's



Included with the original contract is a statement by the County of Santa Clara noting Wayne's withdrawal from Apple as well as an amendment to the original draft.



The auction will take place on Dec. 13 in New York.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Ronald Wayne's going to sell his house to buy it, then wallow in his tears.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Not a bad payment for a 11 days with the company and the effort I assume he put into convincing Wozniak, but still Wayne has to hate how he could have owned 10% of Apple, Inc.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    If I was in Wayne's position, I seriously would have killed myself by now. He sugarcoats this matter very nicely and is highly philosophical about it, but I would bet $2300 that he slams his head against a work table adorned with broken glass and nails every single night of his life.



    It's as if I had a winning $2.6 billion dollar lottery ticket and it flew out the window of my car while I was flying down the freeway: I could either try justifying it ("It was God's will."), or freely display the hidden despair that would from then characterize my godforsaken life and eviscerate dreams of what could have been ("I will now end my life by sawing my own head off with a rusty paint can.").



    $2,300 = $2.6 billion

  • Reply 4 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Not a bad payment for a 11 days with the company and the effort I assume he put into convincing Wozniak, but still Wayne has to hate how he could have owned 10% of Apple, Inc.



    He says he doesn't regret it, but he plays the lottery\
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    If I was in Wayne's position, I seriously would have killed myself by now. He sugarcoats this matter very nicely and is highly philosophical about it, but I would bet $2300 that he slams his head against a work table adorned with broken glass and nails every single night of his life.



    $2,300 = $2.6 billion





    You could argue if he were there, Apple would have turned into a brothel eventually.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by linkgx1 View Post


    He says he doesn't regret it, but he plays the lottery\



    I regret not waking up early enough this morning, as planned, to buy more AAPL stock with a very strong feeling it would rise quickly, so I can't imagine what that must feel like.
    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost



    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

    And sorry I could not travel both

    And be one traveler, long I stood

    And looked down one as far as I could

    To where it bent in the undergrowth;



    Then took the other, as just as fair,

    And having perhaps the better claim,

    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

    Though as for that the passing there

    Had worn them really about the same,



    And both that morning equally lay

    In leaves no step had trodden black.

    Oh, I kept the first for another day!

    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

    I doubted if I should ever come back.



    I shall be telling this with a sigh

    Somewhere ages and ages hence:

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--

    I took the one less traveled by,

    And that has made all the difference.
    Waiting for Dick Applebaum to write The Road Taken.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Sounds similar to the guy who wrote DOS and sold it cheap to Microsoft. Also the guys who wrote Visicalc but forgot to patent it and got hammered by Lotus 123. I imagine there there are many such regrettable missteps on the books. I personally know a fellow who designed the cartoon mascot of a huge multinational company when it was originally founded and was offered 10% but insisted on the graphic design fee instead which was around a thousand dollars at the time.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    If I was in Wayne's position, I seriously would have killed myself by now. He sugarcoats this matter very nicely and is highly philosophical about it, but I would bet $2300 that he slams his head against a work table adorned with broken glass and nails every single night of his life.



    It is often not as obvious as the case with Wayne, however, unless you are extremely satisfied with your accomplishments, who knows how life may had turned out for you had you either made or not made a certain decision earlier in life. 20/20 hindsight.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    gmacgmac Posts: 75member
    Oh man, first selling your 10% stake for next to nothing. Then selling the original agreement for likely not much either before Jobs returned to Apple. Not the best luck/foresight in the world
  • Reply 10 of 20
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,437member
    I've seen so many Apple documentaries that I forget which one I saw this in, but in one of them, I remember an interview with that guy and he was sitting in the back of a limo and saying that he didn't regret it.



    Is he rich now from some other deals, or did they just hire the limo for that documentary?



    I don't care what he says, of course he regrets it. Anybody would. He failed to see the potential in Apple and he was worried about losing some measly pocket change. I would have jumped off the tallest bridge that I could find a long time ago, if I were him.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    10% of Apple is worth way more than $2.6 billion. 10% of Apple today is worth something in the neighborhood of $30 billion
  • Reply 12 of 20
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    If I was in Wayne's position, I seriously would have killed myself by now. He sugarcoats this matter very nicely and is highly philosophical about it, but I would bet $2300 that he slams his head against a work table adorned with broken glass and nails every single night of his life.



    He claims he didn't want to do the work he saw himself doing and that is why he quit. But he also said that he wasn't feeling young and as carefree as the the Steves. I suspect theres truth in both but its the latter that makes him kick himself. But maybe he's right... if it meant 40 years of doing work you really hated in order to end up with a few billion in the bank, it may not be worth it. Steve Jobs certainly wouldn't have thought so. After you have a million the rest is just decoration, really.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    10% of Apple is worth way more than $2.6 billion. 10% of Apple today is worth something in the neighborhood of $30 billion



    Stock Dilution - Apple received additional VC funding after this founders agreement was put in place. Everyone's ownership share went down
  • Reply 14 of 20
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    . . .
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post




    Waiting for Dick Applebaum to write The Road Taken.



    I'm sure it's coming. It will just take a little longer as he's composing it in iambic pentameter.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    . . .



    This post is absoultely devoid of anything.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by linkgx1 View Post


    This post is absoultely devoid of anything.



    Yours? Sort of.



    Solipsism's has ellipses set in #E3E3E4. Like this, see? Or, rather, don't see.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yours? Sort of.



    Solipsism's has ellipses set in #E3E3E4. Like this, see? Or, rather, don't see.



    Anything I can see!
  • Reply 19 of 20
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post


    Stock Dilution - Apple received additional VC funding after this founders agreement was put in place. Everyone's ownership share went down



    Ahhhh. That makes sense.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    It's the second time he lost massive amounts of money because of not believing in Apple. Like in 1976, he must have thought that Apple goes bankrupt and so sold all he has left from the company. And what do we learn from all this?
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