What did Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have in common?
Both had different backgrounds, came from very different families and geographies and both were school dropouts. That did not define them. What defined them was the obsession to succeed. I knew both of them personally and can attest to 3 attributes they both had: hard work, maniacal focus on detail and a “never give up”; attitude. Both made many more mistakes about products than the world knows. But they were so persuaded by their faith in their ideas that it took many years before they would give up on failed projects.
I remember talking to Bill about Microsoft’s “business audio” hardware when my Company Media Vision went public. Of course, as soon as it was announced that Microsoft was entering the audio market, our stock went down by 25%. Bill was not persuaded by me that Microsoft’s “business audio’ was underwhelming and that he should give it up. It was only after Compaq replaced all the hardware months later with our hardware that Gates called me and asked if he could get a license from us to build his hardware.
What do you think my response was? And Steve Job’s failed projects. In my next blog post… What did Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have in common? will continue…