Comparative study of Business Leader Rehan Akhtar<br />Comparative Study of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs<br />Bill GatesSteve Jobs<br />References - <br /><ul><li>“The Road Ahead”(1995) is an autobiography, Bill Gates described about his passion for his work and how hard he struggled to become what he is now.
Bill Gates biography on the Microsoft.com website, with information on the life and businesses of the famous American entrepreneur. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/billg/default.aspx?tab=biography
“Bill GATES” by - Jeanne M. Lesinski . Paperback Edition (2000) from Lerner Publication.
“iCon” The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business. By – Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon from WILEY Publication
“The Second Coming of Steve Jobs” by - Alan Deutschman from Broadway Books New York</li></ul>“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning – Bill Gates”<br />Introduction<br />For the comparative Study of two business leaders, I am taking Bill Gates and Steve jobs as the leaders from the Information Technology Industry who had revolutionized the Information Technology world with their great thinking and innovation. As far as their education is concerned they both don’t have a good record, they both were the dropouts. As I am doing the comparative study, I will be considering the differences and similarities between Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, two of the most successful Business Leaders in the world of personal computing.<br />Early days<br />Steve Jobs (born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on the 24th of February 1955) is best known as the co-founder & CEO of Apple Computer and somewhat less so for his leadership of Pixar Animation Studio which is a computer animation studio. Steve Jobs was adopted by Justin and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California who named him Steven Paul Jobs. Jobs married Laurene Powell. The couple have three children. On the other hand, Bill Gates (born in Seattle, Washington on the 28th of October 1955) is married to Melinda French Gates and has three children. Bill Gates is the co-founder and current Chairman and Chief Software Architect of Microsoft. On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Both started their careers almost at the same time and within the same industry. They are without a doubt two of the most successful and wealthy men in the PC industry. <br />Steve Jobs is a true creative thinker and technological leader while Bill Gates is the opportunity seeker. The competition and rivalry between Gates and Jobs has become one of the most enduring and fascinating in the American business industry. In the end both men are well-known and idolized by many.<br />Difference in Philosophies<br />Although each company has its own philosophy, there is a slight difference between Microsoft's and apple's philosophies because each philosophy has a different aim. Microsoft's philosophy is; "
A computer on every disk in every house, running Microsoft software"
which is more focused and <br />“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower – Steve Jobs”<br />concerned about running their own software in every computer. As for Apple's philosophy, it is; "
Make computers accessible to everyone and make it very easy to use"
and that is more concerned about making their computers being easy to access and making it as easy as they can for everyone else to use.<br />This is how it started<br />They both established and co-founded their companies along with another person (co-founder). Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen who dropped out of Washington State University to pursue his and Bill Gates dream of writing software commercially for the new personal computers. However, In November 2000 Allen resigned from his position on the Microsoft board. As for Apple, it was co-founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who is credited with initiating the entry of computers into private homes and he also wrote most of the software that Apple ran.<br />Bill Gates first achievement was the development of a programming language called BASIC for the Altair computer which is the first commercially successful personal computer. As for Steve Jobs, his first big achievement was Apple II which was the most popular and best selling personal computer of its time. There is a difference between their first achievements because Microsoft first development was software whereas Apple's first product was hardware.<br />Management Style<br />Both Bill Gates and Steve jobs are extremely good at taking in good ideas, and developing them and making them into a successful product. This mostly because they are not at all afraid of taking any risks and try very hard even if they do not always get it right the first time. An example for this would be MS-DOS for Microsoft and an example for apple would be The Lisa and the Page Maker. As far as their management style is concerned Steve Jobs was having an aggressive and demanding personality and is known to be aggressive. Aspirations of Jobs are to position Apple and its products at the forefront in the IT Industry. He wants to be a trend setter in terms of innovation and style. Bill Gates has performed both the role of an executive as well as management. In the earlier years he was a software developer, slowly he transitioned to himself to the management role and he is known to be verbally combative and berating managers for perceiving holes in their business strategies/proposals that placed the company’s long-term interests at risk. Sometimes he responds sarcastically. Gates primary responsibilities for the company were product strategies. He <br />“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.” – Bill Gates<br />aggressively contributed in the company’s broad range of products and he achieved a dominant position for Microsoft.<br />Leadership style<br />Bill Gates foresight and vision regarding personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry. Much of his time is devoted to meeting with customers and staying in contact with Microsoft employees around the world through e-mail. Under Gates' leadership, Microsoft's mission is continuously to advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The leadership traits of Bill Gates are a mix of Authoritative, Delegative and Participative. He has given free hand to his researches and made teams and groups out of them for more product launches. At the same time he is careful in his judgement and control. Steve Job is a transformational leader, meaning he is passionate and enthusiastic about what he does; he creates visions and injects energy and motivation into his team. He is a great example of inspirational leader, when he stole the CEO from Pepsi by asking him, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?” Being inspiring means showing people the big picture and helping them see beyond a narrow focus and understand how their part fits into the big picture. He is one of the most extraordinary speakers in Corporate America. Jobs learned a long time ago that a leader must be a company evangelist and brand spokesperson.<br />Strategic Inflection<br />Let us understand "
Strategic Inflection Point."
This occurs when changes in the market destroy the old ways of doing business and create new competition. Incumbent businesses are forced to change or die. Early 1995, there was a tremendous increase in Internet Users, Microsoft’s response to the internet - with the launch of its MSN – is a good example of a positive response to a Strategic Inflection Point. Late to the market, Microsoft understood the impact the Internet would have on its business and rallied to capture quickly the attention of the significant portion of the consumable market. Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented it in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Its record for innovation and excellence carries on today with products such as the iPod, iPhone and most recently, with the MacBook Air, the “world’s <br />"
It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led and how much you get it."
- Steve Jobs<br />thinnest notebook.” By innovating they try to avoid the Strategic Inflection Point. Recently when the mobile industry was on the verge of stagnation, Apple introduced the iPhone to cater to the need of the generation which has all the required features so that internet can be used in a proper way. Everybody who all was in this business started making Smart Phones.<br />Ethics <br />Take, for example, Steve Jobs. He is a great man who is so shot through with genius at digital production design, marketing management, and long-term company strategy; from his first Apple Lisa( GUI), Macintosh to contemporary iPod, iTunes, iTune Store and iPhone, etc, all of these goods ,without exception , are indicative of his gift on IT business circle; admittedly, he's holy cow and really something, with whom there is a wide distance for me to catch up both academically and technologically , but he may be, In my humble opinion, a crude businessman. I mean comparing with his technological talent he is more proper to be a boffin. The following two cases may lend a strong support to this assumption. One is that Bill Gates successfully took over his achievement and ran a brisk business, although as a man Bill's action is unethical, he finally occupied the lion's share of the PC software market, therefore, to this extent, running business is more favourable with Bill rather than Steve. Also, this illustrates at least two points that Steve was less Intellectual Property Self-Protection sensitive; on the other hand, as a businessman Steve is less shrewd, insightful, and double-dealing, in other word more ethical, than Bill. The other instance is that Steve was actually fired by his CEO John Scully in 1984 who had ever been lured away from Pepsi-Cola by him. This slapping-himself-face case once again indicates Steve Job did not fit up with the role of the company manager at that time, for lacking sufficient sense of investment crisis. Additionally, his angrily demanding personality with his employees or people around him and mis-controlled emotion is another reason which gives rise to his failure. Fortunately, this guy didn't easily give up when he suffered from the fatal setback to become a has-been. Instead, he stood up from where he fell down and took the second wind continuing his new career. Eventually, the God didn't fail to live up to this diligent man. In 1996 he came back to Apple Inc which he found and boosts his company to a new higher stage, simultaneously becoming the permanent CEO of this company. His legendary story surely leaves me a myriad of treasure to dig up; apart from admiring and learning from him I cannot do or say anything else. That's the very thing I'm looking for.<br />As for Bill Gates, the former richest man in the world, I will also dialectically remark him. On one hand, he is valorous, provident, and tactical person, for he had the gut to drop out of Harvard<br />“It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates<br />University and ran a promising IT business with his friend Paul Allen and finally reached great achievement; but on the other hand he is unethical and sly in that he almost copied the Seattle Computer Products' hardware as his new product DOS for IBM, which benefits him $50,000. As I've mentioned in the last paragraph, similar thing doesn't come singly but in pairs, and we can conclude Bill's success are largely based on his mean but instrumental marketing strategy. But Bill is not really that bad and we can also notice one thing that he makes good use of his money on some welfare these years. And for this, his contribution to the whole human beings is indelible.<br />Books Published<br />Bill Gates has two books written by him, these books called 'Business @ The Speed of Thought' and 'The Road Ahead'. In addition to that, he also has books written about him like 'Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire'. On the other hand, Steve Jobs does not have any books written by him but there were books written about him like 'The Second Coming of Steve Jobs' and 'Steve Jobs and The NeXT Big Thing'.<br />Conclusion<br />No matter how much rivalry or competition, both Bill Gates and Steve jobs achieved a huge amount of success in their own way. They had similarities between them such as co-founding their companies along with another person, Steve Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. They were also similar at taking in idea and developing them without being afraid of facing any risks. Aside from these similarities, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs also had some differences between them; these differences include the fact that both of their companies (Microsoft and Apple) have their own different and unique philosophy with different aim. Also their first achievements differ because Microsoft's first achievement BASIC was software whereas Apple's first achievement Apple II was hardware. Bill Gate also had 2 books written by him in addition to books written about him but Steve Jobs didn't have the skills to write any books, there were only books written about him by other people. In conclusion, neither Bill nor Steve is too perfect or too wicked and they are only humans. But it is these humans that I can learn a lot from rather than find fault with. Therefore, I should say, between the two, I should try to find a balance in which I can discard the dross and select the essentials.<br />“You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.” – Steve Jobs<br />