A Complicated Relationship - Steve Jobs vs BIll Gates - Book Club #17: "Steve Jobs"

in #writing4 years ago (edited)

During a pivotal time for the advent of personal computers and software technologies, Jobs and Gates had a very interesting relationship. Their relationship was respectful and distasteful, admirable and "sneaky"... It was complicated to say the least.

Both Apple and Microsoft needed the other in order to succeed at some point. It's very interesting that 2 companies can be so inter-related and cooperative at one moment and then extremely competitive the next moment.

Current Book & Quotes From: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


Gates and Jobs:

I love the way that Isaacson started this chapter out. It's subtitled "When Orbits Intersect" and here is the first passage that perfectly introduces the relationship between Jobs and Gates:

“In astronomy, a binary system occurs when the orbits of two stars are linked because of their gravitational interaction. There have been analogous situations in history, when an era is shaped by the relationship and rivalry of two orbiting superstars: Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr in twentieth-century physics, for example, or Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton in early American governance. For the first thirty years of the personal computer age, beginning in the late 1970s, the defining binary star system was composed of two high-energy college dropouts both born in 1955.”

Gates Vs. Jobs

Ambition aside, Gates and Jobs were actually 2 very different people from very different backgrounds:

“Gates’s father was a prominent Seattle lawyer, his mother a civic leader on a variety of prestigious boards. He became a tech geek at the area’s finest private school, Lakeside High, but he was never a rebel, hippie, spiritual seeker, or member of the counterculture. Instead of a Blue Box to rip off the phone company, Gates created for his school a program for scheduling classes, which helped him get into ones with the right girls, and a car-counting program for local traffic engineers. He went to Harvard, and when he decided to drop out it was not to find enlightenment with an Indian guru but to start a computer software company.”

Gates was also much better at hardcore computer coding and software development. Jobs was much more of a creative spirit and a force for initiating change and "cultivating the flame of big ideas" so to speak. Throughout his entire life Jobs was almost always the face and the "fire" part of creating innovative technologies - people on his team and around him like Steve Wozniak were the "brains" and the hands-on creators of technology.

“Jobs was more intuitive and romantic and had a greater instinct for making technology usable, design delightful, and interfaces friendly. He had a passion for perfection, which made him fiercely demanding, and he managed by charisma and scattershot intensity.”

Despite these differences, they still had a fairly similar way of managing people, though Jobs was definitely more of an "intense" and "spontaneous" person to work for:

“Gates was more methodical; he held tightly scheduled product review meetings where he would cut to the heart of issues with lapidary skill. Both could be rude, but with Gates—who early in his career seemed to have a typical geek’s flirtation with the fringes of the Asperger’s scale—the cutting behavior tended to be less personal, based more on intellectual incisiveness than emotional callousness. Jobs would stare at people with a burning, wounding intensity; Gates sometimes had trouble making eye contact, but he was fundamentally humane.”

The way that Jobs and Gates treated one another is absolutely fascinating to me. They were both such great minds and had such great brilliance in their own respects:

“Each one thought he was smarter than the other one, but Steve generally treated Bill as someone who was slightly inferior, especially in matters of taste and style,” said Andy Hertzfeld. “Bill looked down on Steve because he couldn’t actually program.” From the beginning of their relationship, Gates was fascinated by Jobs and slightly envious of his mesmerizing effect on people.”

This strange relationship went on for years and it would have been really interesting to be a fly on the wall during these times. Gates attended almost all of the company retreats for Apple and he worked very closely with the Mac team and was considered almost a part of the "family."

An odd rift overcame their relationship after an agreement between Jobs and Gates ended badly right around the time of the Mac launch. Microsoft launched a new operating system for IBM PCs in 1983 and it would feature many of the same functionalities as the Mac - a graphical interface, icons, and a mouse for point-and-click navigation. This operating system would be called Windows.

Jobs handled this news terribly and lashed out Gates and called him many names in the press. Jobs called Gates out as running a company that had no real vision or original ideas. Gates responded very calmly and with an amazingly crafty response that made me smile when I read it:

“Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

Here's the Question of The Day, don't forget to post your answers in the comments!

What do you think of the Gates and Jobs relationship? Do you think they helped push each other forward into the future that we see today or do you think they were rivals who played a game of tug-of-war over their software and products?

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to leave your thoughts below and I look forward to seeing you in the comments!



Gates and jobs has a same goal, considering negative and positive well unite and produce elictricity that why we are living modern era internet

One company rule the personal computer and the other rule portable pc like iphone and ipad.
It is strange to see microsoft do not pursue their phone biz and add all the app on android and ios.
Keep on steemin'

amazing comparison

can you write software descritpion for my blog?

A great post from you! Well done
In general, competition is positive and it is instinctive for us so it is necessary
Thanks for sharing

Isaacson has a great sense of history not just talking about a life story in the context of Steve Jobs but a rivalry comparable to:

Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr in twentieth-century physics...
or Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton in early American governance.

These two, Gates and Jobs are necessary rivals. Gates was good at algorithms. Jobs was good at user rhythms.

"Steve generally treated Bill as someone who was slightly inferior, especially in matters of taste and style,” said Andy Hertzfeld. “Bill looked down on Steve because he couldn’t actually program.”

  • We are very slow to move without competition. Somebody had to be the first to take that TV out of Xerox's house. Today we see rivalry between cell phone companies. It leads to legal battles and fights just to say, "I thought of that first." It's not the ideal way to develop product but without this competition the would be no struggle to do a little bit better or in Job's case close to perfection.

I salute our differences.

Gates was good at algorithms. Jobs was good at user rhythms.

^^ I love this!

Yes, Isaacson always does that and I love his writing style for it - his life experiences and vast knowledge allow him to share really broad and apt connections between people's lives. This description was no different! Differences and competition are really the foundations of any form of innovation - things need to change in order to innovate!

Rivalry is the greatest thing someone can have, it pushes a person to work as hard as he can, the anger of being second, no one wants to be second, just the pure shame is enough to push oneself to new heights.
I do however wonder, image what would happen if they both worked together, do you think the world would have advanced faster or slower?
I didn't know jobs couldn't programme xD but it kinda makes sense
Even though they were rivals i bet that bill misses Steve, he was one of the only ones that actually gave bill some fight...

I agree, rivalry is an incredibly powerful motivator. I don't have a "rival" in the same sense as Jobs and Gates, but I like to think of myself as the rival of myself - I'm constantly working to "beat" myself and be better today than I was yesterday - I think this is the type of mindset that successful people like to carry, they like to constantly improve and move the needle closer into the direction of the future they imagine.

Haha, yes! I was also surprised by the fact that he couldn't program!

It has to be a bit of both really. Having a bit of a martial arts streak lately, I would liken it to something like a good UFC fight. You see the pressers and the posturing and the hype and the fight itself and it is a war that we cant keep our eyes off of. Then, at the end of a war, the fighters hug each other and know that they put on a show that would not have been possible without a worthy opponent.

They pushed eachother. They evoked emotions and passions in eachother that pushed themselves to the limit......where the innovation and big gains are made.

I bet they had expensive champagne together behind closed doors and Bill misses Steve now.

Great insightful snips from the books again my friend.

Hey @zekepickleman! That is a fantastic connection that you made between martial arts and this question, great job and thanks for sharing!

I agree, it is through this "tug-of-war" style relationship that the future was born and technology advanced for the better. There seems to be a general principle behind the success of nearly every famous person in history - they had something or someone constantly pushing them to better themselves and reach for the next "rung in the ladder". I think Jobs had many of these types of people throughout his life and Gates was definitely one of them.

I would definitely side with that bet - thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts, this is a great connection, I hope more people read this to really round out this post!

Well I appreciate that it is appreciated. Often times, it is the conversations that happen in the comment section of a good post that inspires me to create a post on my own blog......and I have to stop myself from getting mad when I read "Great post. I like you. Please follow and upvote me!" when someone can't be arsed to discuss or even answer the QOTD.

Also, I am obsessive about following only people with TOP NOTCH content that also support others of the like. The list of people I follow and religiously support can only be so large before it gets watered down.
I am glad you are on my feed as we venture down this road and make STEEMit what it is meant to be.

Yep, this also reminds me of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger during the 90s/00s premier league. Both adversaries pushing each other to get the best out of each other.

Exactly. World-class champions become what they are in part by having world-class challengers!

a very interesting novel to read friends. I am very curious about the novel you are saying

It's called Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, I recommend checking it out @antobrampu!

thank you @khaleelkazi
i will check it out.

I think they were the perfect competitors and even if they were a little different in approaches, they have pushed themselves against eachother. They have been dependent even though this system never seems to be dependent, it is a perfect example of a 2 person game and both survived.

I agree, they had a very symbiotic relationship in the sense that they leveraged the other as a stepping stone to their own success. Both went on to build thriving companies and it's amazing to see how that relationship unraveled into the tech-landscape that we see today!

The story of their rivalry is a good one, but I think only they know the answer to this question!

I agree, it's a great story and yes, maybe they can only answer this question for certain! Do you think confrontation and competition can be a great force for change and innovation @sequentialvibe?

I am not sure about confrontation...I am more zen than that, but competition is good for innovation. However, with AI innovation will happen without either LOL!

😂 that's hilarious, and I hope it doesn't happen or maybe I do.. when it comes to AI, my wires get all screwed up. It's hard to really even comprehend what a future with AI would be like in different applications like competition.

a very interesting novel to read friends. I am very curious about the novel you are saying

a very good post adds my insights and knowledge with your post ...

Even though there has been tension between theses two legend I'm glad God blessed us with them. It's interesting how the media leverage legends like these. Biggie and Tuc are the best examples. At the end of the day. The media win from not taking sides..

What is amazing to me is how despite all the beaf they had throughout their careers the two of them not only respected eachother but they also seemed to genuinely care for one another.
I have watched extensive interviews of both of them . Gates was in tears talking about the last time he visited Jobs once he became ill and Jobs famously kept a letter from Gates near his bed during his final months.
Personally, that brings a smile to my face knowing that two people who I really look up to ended off on good terms.

This is very interesting and useful. Thank you for sharing this paper. I can learn a lot from your post. Greetings know from me @jharyadi in Bandung, Indonesia

a very interesting novel to read friends. I am very curious about the novel you are saying

“Bill looked down on Steve because he couldn’t actually program.”

I like this phrase. Even though Steve can not program a code, he is a legendary in tech space and product design. So you don't need to be a programmer to build something useful.

Congratulations @khaleelkazi, this post is the sixth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superuser account holder (accounts that hold between 1 and 10 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superuser account holders during this period was 1268 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $8514.97. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Well done, I think you did a great job comparing Jobs and Gates! They are both great minds of our era and have very distinct personalities. I am super new to Steem it and came upon this post from your other trending health post on keto =)

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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the figures behind two big companies, Apple and Microsoft. Relations between couples up and down, sometimes friends, sometimes opponents.

Gates and Jobs like this, Microsoft is currently making software for Apple II PC. At that time Gates regularly came to Cupertino to see the project worked on by Apple.

But this relationship then deteriorated, beginning in the early 1980s. When Jobs flew to Washington to invite Gates - in this case Microsoft - working on software for the graphical user interface (GUI -), which was then very revolutionary.

But Gates can not, because it he calls a limited platform, or maybe he does not like the attitude of a meeting by Jobs. Jobs as if to say that they do not need Gates, and everything can be resolved.

"He (Jobs) is in a sales mode, but with a standing style saying, 'I do not need you, but I can allow to participate,'" Gates said.

The peak when Microsoft released the first Windows in 1985, which uses a graphical interface. Jobs considered Gates to steal his idea by using the interface.

Angry Jobs accused Microsoft of mimicking the Macintosh. But Gates did not bother. He was convinced that the idea of ​​the interface would be great, and did not feel that Apple had an exclusive right to the idea.

Moreover, Gates knew that the idea of ​​Apple's graphical interface display was inspired by Xerox, developed by the Palo Alto Research Center, an institution that equally puja them.

"I think it's like we both have the same rich neighbors Xerox and I broke into steal television but you've stolen it first," said Gates replied to the terms of the Jobs.

But Jobs seems to have been too upset with the behavior of Gates. To the extent that he calls Gates a shameless person.

A Complicated Relationship - Steve Jobs vs BIll Gates - Book Club #17: "Steve Jobs". 30분 전. khaleelkazi68 in writing. During a pivotal time for the advent of personal computers and software technologies, Jobs and Gates had a very interesting relationship.

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