A few pieces of paper signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to incorporate Apple Computer on April 12, 1976, have been sold for a staggering $1.6 million at auction in New York.
It’s not clear who Cisneros Corp. CEO Eduardo Cisneros bought them at the recent Sotheby’s auction, and Art Info reports that they went for well over the initial asking price. The contract was “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.”
The docs gave 10 percent of the nascent computer maker to Wayne, while Jobs and Wozniak split the remaining 90 percent equally. Of course, things went on to change very soon: Also included in the documents sold is the amendment to the contract that rescinded Wayne’s shares of the company a little over a week later. He gave up his 10 percent for about $800. Flash forward thirtysomething years and Apple has gone on to become the world’s most valuable company.
The auction may come as a disappointment to those of you who have a few million burning a hole in your pocket and missing out on pieces of Silicon Valley and tech lore. But for those of you just starting businesses and probably signing contracts like these, hey, this can be an inspiring goal: Maybe they could be your founding documents one day.