If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

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#1 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 08 November 2011 - 03:09 PM

I was reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and I couldn't help but feel horrible for a few of the people who missed out on such an incredible opportunity. When Apple was just starting out, Ron Wayne, an engineer from Atari, owned 10% of Apple (Jobs and Wozniak both owning 45%). Unfortunately for him, he soon resigned from the company because he was worried about being responsible for financial and legal troubles with Apple.

Isaacson says, "Had he stayed on and kept his 10% stake, at the end of 2010 it would have been worth approximately $2.6 billion. Instead he was then living alone in a small home in Pahrump, Nevada, where he played the penny slot machines and lived off his social security check."

"I made the best decision for me at the time. Both of them [Jobs and Wozniak] were real whirlwinds, and I knew my stomach and it wasn't ready for such a ride," Wayne said, and it sounds like he was trying to cover up some deep regret. I wouldn't know how to live with myself if I made such a stupid move. Sounds horrific, right?

Not so much. Someone else, I believe by the name of Nolan Bushnell, was offered one-third of Apple's stock for only $50,000. This was even a good deal at the time, as at this point they were dealing with lots of money. He simply declined the offer, and later says something along the lines of "It's kind of fun to think about, when I'm not crying."

To be quite honest I'm a little bit surprised that these guys didn't commit suicide. If I declined either one of these billion dollar opportunities, I would probably look at every situation for the rest of my life and imagine where I would be had I made a different decision.

What do you think about this?

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 08 November 2011 - 03:10 PM


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Replies To: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 08 November 2011 - 03:26 PM

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Quote

To be quite honest I'm a little bit surprised that these guys didn't commit suicide.

Are you being serious, or are you a fan of aggrandizing the situation much? My response varies with your intent.

Quote

If I declined either one of these billion dollar opportunities

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#3 Creecher  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 08 November 2011 - 03:38 PM

As far as those guys knew, Apple was going to fail. Apple got lucky.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 08 November 2011 - 03:52 PM

View PostAVReidy, on 08 November 2011 - 05:09 PM, said:

What do you think about this?

Business is a risk. Everything is a gamble.

It's easy to look back now & say "well that was stupid", but look at how many times Atari was purchased before it died a slow death, & now the business name gets bought by other gaming companies to be used as a well known name/logo, just like AT&T for phone companies.

View PostAVReidy, on 08 November 2011 - 05:09 PM, said:

If I declined either one of these billion dollar opportunities, I would probably look at every situation for the rest of my life and imagine where I would be had I made a different decision.

Hows this for food for thought? I'll sell you 10% of my business for $10,000.

It could be worth billions one day & you'll own part of the worlds largest, & best computer repair company.

After you decline, I'll report back my earnings to you in 10 years, & we'll see where you & I are at in perspective to today.

It could be the single worst financial mistake of your life. Or it could assure you that you'll never have to work again, a day in your life.

View PostAVReidy, on 08 November 2011 - 05:09 PM, said:

To be quite honest I'm a little bit surprised that these guys didn't commit suicide.

Lastly, I would just like to add that money is nothing to kill yourself over. It's a piece of paper that represents currency for bartering.
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#5 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 08 November 2011 - 04:27 PM

Not everyone has foresight.
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#6 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:00 PM

View PostCreecher, on 08 November 2011 - 03:38 PM, said:

As far as those guys knew, Apple was going to fail. Apple got lucky.



Exactly, I mean if a kid who couldn't dress properly, stank, and is more into voodoo than technology asked you to buy a 1/3 of his company at $50,000(which is more like $250,000 today) would you do it?


probably not......

This post has been edited by AlbuquerqueApache: 09 November 2011 - 06:03 PM

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#7 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:53 PM

I was actually being serious about the whole suicide thing. I really wouldn't be surprised. I know I would be at least a little bit depressed if I missed such an opportunity...

You all have good points, though. I guess even Jobs and Woz didn't know how enormous an industry they were pioneering, so it was probably reasonable for others to play it safe.

Although as for the argument on how they were smelly voodoo hippies, I think people should have been able to see through Jobs's unpleasant hygiene... I think you could tell he was going to be great just by looking him in the eyes. This is a nice example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (yeah, I kind of contradicted myself, but at the same time I didn't... there I go again). Though I know that even if somebody didn't judge them by their appearance they would still be in their right mind to pass up such an investment since they had no idea where the almost nonexistent PC industry was headed.

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 09 November 2011 - 06:55 PM

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#8 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:05 AM

Maybe their influence would have been the death of Apple if they had invested. Who knows?
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#9 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:22 AM

View Postcfoley, on 10 November 2011 - 12:05 PM, said:

death of Apple

Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

This post has been edited by gabehabe: 10 November 2011 - 05:23 AM

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#10 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:00 AM

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Apple was circling the drain a few times in it's history. One of those times, it was Microsoft that bailed it out. Gotta love that. ( More here, if you missed it. )

The stock market is gambling. Period. The only real winners are those gaming the system. Most of the "investors" just ride the pyramid scheme and hope they don't end up on the wrong side of it.

You can always look back find a choice that might have resulted in a better outcome. But you still can't know that the making that choice wouldn't itself influence the outcome and cause a different one. At the same time, there are also choices made that resulted in the best possible outcome, the downside of which might never be recognized.

If you only obsess over might have beens, you're already dead. Suicide would be redundant.
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#11 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:31 AM

View PostWolfCoder, on 08 November 2011 - 07:27 PM, said:

Not everyone has foresight.


Au contraire, everyone has foresight. It's the distance and quality that most lack.

And insofar as the suicide comments: if the quality of your life is measured by how much money you could have had then perhaps you have bigger problems than lack of fabulous wealth.
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#12 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:50 AM

also you should probably be dead because chances are VERY high you have missed out on a shit ton of money.
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#13 Robin19  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:57 AM

On Feb 27th 2009 my employer at the time (Stock: DTG) was trading for .77. It was threatened with de-listing. A colleague had $10k in Ameritrade and was thinking of sinking at least half of that in the penny stock. I talked her out of it, bringing up Enron as an example of why you don't buy your own company's stock.

On Feb 26th 2010 it was trading for 30.04. On Jun 3rd 2011 it was trading for 83.74. She could have quit her $9/hour job with her stocks worth $1,087,532. There was no way to know that the president would resign and the new president would implement the correct plans to revive the company. There was no way to know that the two biggest competitors would start a bidding war to buy the company. There was a chance that the stock price would not have changed and been de-listed. She was lucky to survive two rounds of layoffs (part of the plans by the new president). The problem with playing hindsight with your life is that you always remiss about the opportunities you missed. You never remember the land mines you avoided.
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#14 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:21 AM

oh man you must feel like a huge douchebag for that one.
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#15 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: If you declined the opportunity to buy 1/3 of Apple for $50,000..

Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:50 AM

... because in the early 80's you would have been able to see where Apple would be in 2011? We're talking pre-Microsoft taking over.

Anyone who has that level of foresight is a freak of nature and should use his powers for good or be deemed a super-villain.
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