Titans of Silicon Valley
Two of the biggest names in their industries history. The major players who shifted the computer world forward. The world would be a very different place right now if it were not for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The products they made reach our lives in every way possible. Go to work and power up a PC, it’s most likely Microsoft Windows. Want to listen to music on your phone, you’re probably pulling out an Apple iPhone. Get home tired and want to play video games, you turn on your Microsoft XBox One. Good chance you power up your Apple MacBook to visit this article you’re reading right now. It’s undeniable how powerful both these men were and how similar they were, yet how different their paths were.
Does The Math At Forbes Work Out?
As recent as this week, Bill Gates has been valued at a net worth of $90 Billion. This is the first time he’s been this high again since the Anti-Trust lawsuits of the 1990s that dropped his value down from over $100 Billion. This makes Bill Gates the richest man in the world by a long shot. At the time of his rival’s death, Steve Jobs only had $11 Billion while Bill was sitting at $66 Billion. But how does this make any sense if Apple was the most valuable company in the world? Surely Apple is doing better than Microsoft, so what went wrong? Why wasn’t Steve Jobs in the top ten richest men in the world at the time of his death? Apple was $132 Billion ahead of Microsoft in capitalization in 2011.
Two Very Different Paths To The Top
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were similar in a handful of ways. They were both born in the same year. Both of them eventually dropped out of college. And they both started companies with their best friend. Needless to say, they both became very wealthy. But why was the gap so big between them. Well, it’s quite simple, Steve Jobs should have been a lot richer. Back in 1985 when Steve was ousted out of Apple by former Pepsi CEO Jeff Sculley and the board, Jobs sold all his shares in Apple except for one in a fit of rage. His 11% stake ($130 million at the time) in the company would have been valued today at $59 Billion. At one point in the late 70’s after rounds of fundraising, he had 26% share of the company which would have been valued at $139 Billion today. Far ahead of Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. However, Bill Gates was steady at Microsoft, kept his shares, and let his investments mature and grow with time eventually making him the richest man in the world even though Apple was more valuable than Microsoft.
Jobs Eventually Rose Again – Gates Continues to Contribute
After being removed from the company he founded, most individuals would hit rock bottom, surely never to return again. However, Steve Jobs would go on to create NeXT computers and also acquire Pixar from Lucasfilm for $10 million. Steve Jobs would become the CEO of Pixar and become an Executive Producer for Toy Story. The rest is history, as he grew Pixar and eventually selling to Disney for 7% stake in their company in 2006. At one point, he was the largest owner of Disney and sat on the board of directors. Coupled with the return to Apple in the 90s as it’s CEO once again, it’s easy to see how Steve Jobs became a billionaire while all the odds were against him. But one cannot deny the potential of patience and stability when comparing the wealth of Jobs to Gates. Both revolutionary visionaries that changed the world. Even now Bill Gates is saving tons of lives in Africa with his vaccines thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Some numbers show that he has given away at least $28 billion of his wealth in the last decade which has amounted to saving over 6 million lives in Africa. Quite shocking to find someone of that wealth willing to make such an impact in the world in such a positive way.