Bill Gates and Steve Jobs

615 words | 3 page(s)

Computers are now a commodity and computing technologies have advanced so much over the last few decades that they now fit in the palms of our hands. When we think about people who laid the foundation for the computing industry in America and helped make computers a household commodity product, Bill Gates and Steven Jobs are often the first names that come to mind. Both shared their love for computing technologies and started out with the intention of changing the world but their lives and paths have been as different at times as they have been similar.

Bill Gates was born into a life of comfort, with his father William Henry II being a lawyer and his mother Mary Maxwell Gates sitting on the boards of many companies. Bill Gates family even had a vacation home and he went to prestigious Lakeside School . Steve Jobs’ upbringing on the other hand could not have been more different. Unlike Bill Gates whose biological parents ensured he had a healthy childhood, Steve Jobs was given up for adoption soon after his birth and was raised by his adopted parents Clara and Paul Jobs. Jobs’ adopted parents might not have been as well-off as Gates’ parents but Jobs’ father Paul Jobs did instill I him the love for electronics . Despite their different upbringings, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did share some similarities, too one of which was passionate pursuit of their interests. Both also enrolled at college but ended up dropping out; Bill Gates from Harvard University and Steve Jobs from Reed College . Another similarity between two visionaries was that they didn’t create the respective companies that defined their careers by themselves but instead had a helping hand from a partner; Bill Gates’ partner in founding Microsoft was Paul Allen while Steve Jobs’ partner in founding Apple was Steve Wozniak .

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Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs set out on changing the world but they took a different path to do so. Bill Gates was focused on volume which is why he openly licensed his software including operating system to third parties and became the richest man on earth in the process. Steve Jobs on the other hand focused more on quality than volume which explains why Apple is arguably the only company in Silicon Valley that develops both hardware and software in order to ensure quality and best user experience. Apple’s operating system continues to be closed to third parties even though taking Bill Gates’ path might have made Steve Jobs lot richer than he actually was.

Both Gates and Jobs believed in making difference in the world though they had different philosophies. It may not be inaccurate to say that Bill Gates has had not only career but two careers second of which he is pursuing now. Bill Gates is arguably the largest and most influential philanthropist in the world now whose foundation gives over a billion dollar each year to different causes, mostly healthcare . Steve Jobs on the other hand believed in changing world not primarily through charity work but technological innovation that improves our average life standards. As a writer Dan Pallotta argued, the world is a better place because Jobs didn’t give up business for philanthropy .

Bill Gates had more comfortable upbringing than Steve Jobs but both understood their real passion and were not afraid to drop out of college to pursue their real interest. Both helped make computers a household commodity. Bill Gates focused more on volume and business while Steve Jobs was more passionate about building the best products. Both changed the world but while Gates also focused on philanthropy, Jobs focused on helping humanity improve its average life standards.

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