The original contract ushering Apple Computers into the world, signed by founders Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, sold at Sotheby's books and manuscripts auction Tuesday afternoon to a phone bidder (an iPhone bidder?) for $1.6 million — over 10 times the $100,000-150,000 pre-sale estimate. That sum, while impressive, is of course infinitesimal compared to the profits achieved by the historic tech enterprise formed on April 1, 1976, when Jobs and Wozniak each claimed 45 percent of the company, giving Wayne 10 percent.
Another document, filed 11 days later to remove Wayne from the partnership, was also included in the lot. Wayne originally received $800 for his 10 percent, and later got a second payment of $1,500.
Today, Wayne's 10 percent would be worth $36 billion, based on Apple's $360 billion market capitalization (the company's estimated worth).