Have you heard? Well known author Malcolm Gladwell recently theorized that nobody will know who Steve Jobs was in 50 years. They’ll know about Bill Gates, but not Steve Jobs. Really. He suspects that both individuals will be forgotten based on their business accomplishments but that Bill Gates will be remembered for his philanthropy.
I disagree wholeheartedly. There are plenty of famous inventors and businessmen that are remembered today for their work. How about Ford, Tesla, and Einstein? Correct me if I’m wrong but they aren’t remembered primarily for their philanthropic endeavors (did they even do philanthropy???). Looking back just a couple of decades even we can see that Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Internet, has not been forgotten.
According to the article, people idolize businessmen like Jobs for their money-making capacity. It asserts that Gladwell feels that a person’s long-term legacy has more to do with their broader impact on the world. OK, wait a sec. Steve Jobs hasn’t had a broad impact on the world? I’d like the average person to name 10 people who have had a bigger impact on the world at large than Steve Jobs did off the top of their mind. The average person would fail splendidly at that task.
Steve is more than a business person. He’s a modern day legend. How many books and magazine articles have tried to dissect his style, his intuition, his leadership abilities? How many for Gates? I think at this point Jobs has a lot more momentum rolling into the future than Gates. Sorry Malcolm, in this case you are wrong. I think someone just wanted some attention…