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Apple’s Founding Contract Sells at Auction for $1.59 Million, Signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-01-2012

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Apple Founding ContractDo you know what it took to establish the most profitable and powerful computer companies in the world? A simple, three-page contract. Three simple pieces of paper brought Apple to the world and shot Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak into the history books. However, that document is getting a little more attention these days due to the fact that it recently sold for $1.59 million in New York, far above the pre-sale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.

Bidding for the document began at $70,000 in a half-empty room containing only about 20 people and nearly as many Sotheby’s staff members manning the phones for call-in bidders. A total of six online and telephone bidders competed for the entire lot, which finally went to Eduardo Cisneros, CEO of Cisneros Corporation.

The contract, which was signed on April 1, 1976 by both Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, was initially owned by Wayne who met Jobs while working at Atari. Jobs’ longtime friend Wozniak was working at HP at the time and Jobs urged Wayne to persuade Wozniak to join the new company. Wayne’s success in getting Wozniak on board granted him a 10% share in the soon-to-be billion dollar company.

However, only 11 days after the contract was signed, Wayne dropped out as a partner. His move was documented by a County of Santa Clara, California statement and an amendment to the contract, both of which were included in the Sotheby’s lot. Wayne only received $800 for relinquishing his 10% share and subsequently received an additional payment of $1,500, according to Sotheby’s.

If Wayne had stayed with the company, his 10% share would be worth more than $36 billion today. Wayne, in an October 7 interview with Bloomberg, called Wozniak and Jobs “intellectual giants” but “also felt it was going to be something of a roller coaster” adding, “If I’d stayed with them, I was going to wind up the richest man in the cemetery.”

Source: Bloomberg – Founding Apple Contract Jobs Signed Sells for $1.6 Million

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