Saturday, 24 March 2012 04:10

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: Men of Ideas

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Steve Jobs (1955- ) and Bill Gates (1955- ) are two America university drop outs whose computer and internet wizardry has come to represent the face of computers and the Internet. Whereas they were not the actual inventors of computer or the Internet but they represent the computer as we now know it.

Steve Job and his friend Steve Wozniak, were the first to translate big computers into small computers, what is now called personal computers. They built the first table top computers (Apple) and marketed them. Other people got into the game and now there are tons of computer manufacturers. Indeed, just about any body with some understanding of how computers work can design and produce his personal computer.

Whereas Steve Jobs is the face of the personal computer, Bill Gates is the face of the software that runs modern PCs. Bill Gates and his friend, Paul Allen, apparently, designed a program that eventually became the mainstay of personal computers. Today it is reported that at least eighty percent of PCs run on Bill Gates Microsoft Windows operating systems. There are, of course, other operating systems, including the one in Steve Jobs Mackintosh. But Bill Gates has cornered the market on operating systems for personal computers. In the process Bill Gates amassed unheard of wealth.  Before the melt down of the high tech industry in 1999, Gates wealth was close to $100 billion dollars. He is reported to be the richest man in the world.  Steve Jobs is not far off but he is not the face of wealth but the face of management of high tech industries.

Steve Jobs and his friend, Steve Wozniak, began their company, Apple Computers, and eventually went public and naturally had a Board of Directors. They hired a fellow from Pepsi Cola to help run their outfit. But at a point the Board of Directors saw it fit to get rid of Steve Jobs. He left and started other ventures (which he eventually sold to Disney etc).

In the meantime, Apple Computer was dying, unable to compete with the likes of Dell and Compaq. Steve Jobs was brought back to Apple and in a short time turned things around.

The lesson here is to never get rid of the visionary in a business; perhaps, have a person with outstanding business skills to advice him.

Today Apple Computer Company is turning out all sorts of gadgets and gismos.  As for Bill Gates, he managed to get into the Internet business and today his Microsoft explorer has driven out of business the initial giants of the Internet such as Netscape, America On-line etc. Bill Gates is known as a predatory business man who finds ways to get rid of his competitors and have a monopoly of the market. He is said to buy patents of inventions by other persons to give his business advantage. Why not, that was what Thomas Edison did and John Rockefeller and the other rubber barons of nineteenth century American industry did. J, P. Morgan and Vanderbilt were anything but unscrupulous predatory business men; predatory business is the American style of doing things.

For our persistent purposes, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates represent the face of computers and the Internet.

REFERENCES

Jeffrey Young. Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward. (1988)

Steve Wozniak. How I invented the Personal Computer, co-founded Apple and had fun doing it.  (2006)

Klaus Schwab. Bill Gates: A New Approach to Capitalism in the 21st Century. (2008)

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176