Gates v. Jobs: The Ultimate Showdown
Bill Gates, Microsoft
- Gates seemed to always look for ways to make money. Came from a well-off family with many connections (Gates met the CEO of IBM through his mother). Biographers call Gates a "shrewd business man."
Gates had sometimes "ruthless" business tactics. "We may be friends, but don't tell me information I can use against you, because I will." (Microsoft v. IBM)
Gates was known for playing "dirty pool." (Internet Explorer fiasco)
Gates would sometimes go to great lengths to "soften" his image (dress up like Spock at conference; do silly commercials).
Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.
- Jobs came from a blue-collar background, his adoptive parents did not graduate college. His biological parents and sister were intellectuals.
Jobs would keep things more subtle (jeans and turtle-neck).
Jobs was a very secretive man.
Jobs had a specific vision, and parted with Apple when they did not see things the same way.
Jobs and iTunes changed the course of business in the music industry, and responsible for $0.99 songs.
"The Reality Distortion Field" - Jobs introduces new products, and gets people so emotional about them, that they disregard the higher price tag.
But what do they have in common?
- Both Gates and Jobs have always been considered the "face" of their respective companies. Both had relentless work ethics. Strict leaders with specific ideas and paths in mind. Faces of the industry at a young age (early 30s).
Both had a very influential partner (Jobs-Wozniak; Gates-Allen)
Both started out in the Northwest U.S. (Seattle; Oregon), and ended up flourishing in Silicon Valley, CA.
Both competed intensely with IBM in the 1980s.
Both were known for the sometimes "crude" behavior towards their employees. If they didn't like something, they had no problem telling employees to start over.
The New Generation: Facebook v. Google
- These days, the tech rivalries have a whole new generation of companies. Facebook and Google have been squaring off the last few years, essentially to see who can gather more information about users and turn that information into a profit. Both Google and Facebook seem to strive to be the one-stop-shop for all online users by integrating social aspects with things like search, email, video, file-sharing, etc.
Even the floundering Yahoo has decided to try and get back into the game by appointing former Google Exec. Marissa Mayer as their CEO. Only time will tell if Yahoo can still hack it, or if going in a different direction entirely may be more beneficial.
And just for fun... enjoy!