“As young men born in the same year (1955), they set out from the same starting point, but with radically different personalities. In the early days of personal computers, both dropped out of college and launched their own businesses,” Andrew B. Wilson and Robert O. Skovgard write for The American Spectator. “Of the two, the late Steve Jobs was always the quick, live-for-the-moment hare, while Bill Gates was the dispassionate, lawyerly, bide-your-time tortoise.”
“For two decades, the race between the two went according to script, with the hare jumping out to a huge early lead, before falling hopelessly behind. Apple Computer appeared to be headed for bankruptcy in 1997 when Gates and Microsoft came to the rescue with a $150 million investment. While appearing as the noble competitor, Gates could not hide his contempt for his longtime rival. In a Vanity Fair article in 1998, Gates said sneeringly — ‘What I can’t figure out is why he is even trying. He knows he can’t win,'” Wilson and Skovgard write. “But this is when the fable took an amazing twist.”
MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s $150 million investment in non-voting shares did not “rescue” Apple Computer, Inc. per se.
The value was in the settlement of patent disputes for an undisclosed figure, a patent cross-licensing agreement, the promise of continued Office and other software for Mac development for a five-year period, and, most of all, the P.R. the deal generated.
As was usually the case, Jobs got the bang for the buck, and then some, for which he was looking.
“In the last 12 years of his life, Jobs reinvented himself and his business not once but several times, and finished far ahead of his rival. He built the most valuable business in the world–creating more than half again as much wealth for his shareholders as Microsoft,” Wilson and Skovgard write. “As many have commented, Jobs saw himself as an artist no less than a businessman or technologist. His artistry is evident in what now seems his last will and testament: the now-famous 2005 commencement address at Stanford… It is interesting to compare this commencement address with the one that Gates gave two years later at Harvard.,, [a speech with] both the carefulness and the clumsiness of a document drafted by a committee, and it makes Gates seem something of a poseur — pretending to a wisdom that he doesn’t possess.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]