Kahney jumps shark: praises Gates, crassly criticizes Steve Jobs over charitable donations

“Until recently, Bill Gates has been viewed as the villain of the tech world, while his archrival, Steve Jobs, enjoys an almost saintly reputation,” Leander Kahney writes in a commentary for Wired News. “Gates is the cutthroat capitalist. A genius maybe, but one more interested in maximizing profits than perfecting technology. He’s the ultimate vengeful nerd. Ostracized at school, he gets the last laugh by bleeding us all dry.”

“On the other hand, Jobs has never seemed much concerned with business, though he’s been very successful at it of late. Instead, Jobs has been portrayed as a man of art and culture. He’s an aesthete, an artist; driven to make a dent in the universe,” Kahney writes. “But these perceptions are wrong. In fact, the reality is reversed. It’s Gates who’s making a dent in the universe, and Jobs who’s taking on the role of single-minded capitalist, seemingly oblivious to the broader needs of society.”

“Gates is giving away his fortune with the same gusto he spent acquiring it, throwing billions of dollars at solving global health problems. He has also spoken out on major policy issues, for example, by opposing proposals to cut back the inheritance tax,” Kahney writes. “In contrast, Jobs does not appear on any charitable contribution lists of note. And Jobs has said nary a word on behalf of important social issues, reserving his talents of persuasion for selling Apple products. According to Forbes, Jobs was recently worth $3.3 billion which puts him among the 194th richest in the world, and makes him the 67th richest American. But the standings were shuffled on Tuesday with Disney’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation — a deal that makes Jobs’ Pixar holdings alone worth some $3.7 billion. But great wealth does not make a great man.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Note that even Kahney, soaring in mid shark-jump, can’t bring himself to write that Gates “earned” his fortune; just “acquired.” How did Bill Gates get that all of that money? Did he somehow “acquire” it legally while illegally abusing a monopoly? What exactly did he do to get it? Dupe typewriter company IBM into using an “operating system” he picked up for a song, constantly fake the Mac operating systems over the years, buy some companies, pretend to be innovative, etc? Bill Gates is a business genius, sure. He’s not a software genius. He’s not a visionary. He’s been following Steve Jobs for decades now and pretending to be a tech leader. In case you missed it: Windows is an upside down and backwards Mac, folks. Gates put the icons on the left side of his fake Desktop, renamed Trash to Recycle Bin, ran the whole thing through Microsoft’s patented “Intuition Destroyer,” boxed it up and hired The Stones. For this he deserves our adulation?! Sorry, but we’ll have to pass, Leander, as we’re still in our right minds.

Leander, we read about Robin Hood. We know about Robin Hood. Robin Hood could’ve been a friend of ours. Leander, Gates is no Robin Hood. Don’t believe everything you read in TIme.

As Kahney writes, Steve Jobs is an intensely private man. Kahney suggests that Jobs could be giving vast sums in private, without publicizing it. It is appallingly crass for Kahney to criticize Jobs and then praise Gates for publicizing his every contribution. Kaheny actually has the gall to write, “On the evidence, [Jobs is] nothing more than a greedy capitalist who’s amassed an obscene fortune. It’s shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs’ rock star exaltation.” Kahney must have lost his mind; from jealousy perhaps? Hey, as long as it’s high season for impugning people’s motives willy nilly and without any facts, let’s go! How’s it feel, Leander?

The way in which people approach charity, how much money people give or don’t give to charity, and which charities they may or may not support is none of Leander Kahney’s or anybody else’s damn business.

Our advice to Kahney is to put down the TIme Magazine, go read Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address to Stanford University, and take Jobs’ advice to heart, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”


  1. Saw thins on Macworld.com – go get him boys!

    Seems to me that the implication of the article is that Gates has bought his popularity with a pay check wheras Steve Jobs has not.

  2. As usual, an Apple entity gets more criticism than it deserves. Why stop at Jobs. Let’s make a list of all top executives and their activities. Lets hang them all in the town square.

    The ends doesn’t justify the means, and no matter how you cut it, Microsoft was found guilty of unfair business practices and monopoly. Just because they got off with hand slap doesn’t change this.

    FWIW, I think gates SHOULD be giving away money considering how it was aquired. I don’t find Gates to be a genius, although he is certainly a saavy businessman. His company developed their product in a vacuum, without a true competitor. No Apple never did compete in that space despite what people might think. It’s easy to create a middle of the road product when you don’t really have anything driving you. Microsoft has proven this over and over.

    To criticise Jobs is just ridiculous. It’s especially ridiculous to criticise him by comparison to Gates.

  3. Bill Gates only does charity because it brings about a positive image for Microsoft as well as give Bill Gates nice tax breaks. I can see that Melinda Gates is passionate about what the Gates Foundation is doing, but not necessarily Bill Gates.

  4. It’s so amazing to see how many people were plainly blinded by the dollar bills from Bill, that Bill knows how to play the publicity with his weath & people just fall right into his game, Stupid isn’t it? Well lets hope Bill will pick this writer up & give him a position as his personal writer, Hey Leander, nice job kissing ass but you know most people are smarter than you.

  5. Apple had an answer to such idiots in their early days… works for those who speak bad about Gates and Charity and also for those who speak about Jobs and lack of charity…

    “You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
    disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can’t do is ignore them.”

  6. While I hope SJ does give a fair amount to charity (which would also mean he doesn’t self-promote every time he does it), SJ IS doing an enormous amount for society by providing innovative, productivity-enhancing, aesthetically-pleasing products and services. Just because he is in a for-profit company does not minimize that contribution; the money doesn’t make it “dirty.” SJ is the embodiment of how an individual can use the power of the market for positive ends.

  7. What a very odd point of view this guy has. I’m sure that most people who read it will know its pushing the bounds of possibility.

    Jobs is paid a $ a year by Apple, and his wealth is on paper only.. I wonder what Gates is paid in a naaverage year?

    And of course, the greater the success at Apple, the more a few idiots will want to take it down..

    After you have enough money to live as comfortably as you wish for the rest of your life, there are only so many things you can do with the rest of it.

    Gates is proving to be a control freak AND a political animal which is a shame, he should stick to conning the world. It’s what he’s best at.

  8. Leander – what happened to all your Apple love?

    I thought you were one of the “cult” leaders.

    What a stupid piece. “Lack of visible Charity” bashing?

    I mean… come on.

    All the extra productivity that the Mac OS gives the world vs. Windoze
    folks chasing viruses and pop-ups while using the hideous Windows UI is charity enough.

    Get a grip.

    – ndb

  9. what a turd.Just like microsoft donates old computers & software to developing countries. In their best interest. The greediest capitalists- Carnegie, Pullman, et al., have always donated huge sums of money. whether thats guilt money or PR money I don’t know. That din’t stop them from exploiting the small guy.

    It’s easy for Gates to fight against the repeal inheritance tax. Gosh, his children might get half a gazillion dollars instead of the full gazillion. The filthy rich who “aquired” money by being in the right place at the right time also tend to the leftand be generous as opposed to the right- while people who work their ass off to get their loot tend to want to hold onto it- the fault of the self-made man (Socrates).

  10. Lets not forget that while Gates is giving away millions to charitable foundations, his foundation also invests heavily in pharmaceutical companies, who’s goals are not to cure illnesses, but rather make them treatable and forcing people to shell out a lot of cash for their drugs.

  11. Criticising Steve Jobs is stupid, the article says it has no clue what he does in respect of charitable endeavours. Assuming Steve Jobs does donate a proportionate sum to Gates does that mean that charity is worth more if you tell people about it? Of course not. If they had definitive proof that Steve Jobs did nothing charitable then you could argue that it was mean and overtly capitalistic of him, but they don’t.

    Full credit to Bill Gates for all he does but comparing the two people in an arena where you don’t have all the facts makes no sense and is just cheap and easy.

  12. I really do appreciate what the Gates Foundation does. And it should not be overlooked what Bill and Melinda Gates do in the area of philanthropy.

    My problem is that no matter how many billions that Gates gives, it puts absolutely no pressure on his standard of living. He could give away 99% of his net worth and still be infinitely more wealthy than 99% of americans. So he gives away a couple of billions. That is wonderful, and the world is better off for it, but it isn’t a burden on him and it doesn’t make him a saint for doing it.

    I donate an infinitely larger percentage of my net worth to charity than Bill Gates. When I donate money to charity I feel it. Does it make me better that Bill? No, but $1B to Bill is pocket change to a regular american. Bill deserve no special adoration for his charitable giving. At least no more than someone who contributes cookies to a United Way bake sale.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.