What a Jobs-less Apple Can Learn from Bill Gates

Steve Jobs built the Apple empire from ground up. And as he leaves, a very significant chapter of a globally-recognized company will close.  In every goodbye, letting go and moving on are crucial.  Apple minus Steve Jobs will never be the same, but it could either be a stronger brand, or a phenomenon of the past.  But this is not the first time that we are witnessing a departure of an icon from a stalwart organization.  Gates’ resignation in 2008 brings a lot of similar memoirs.

Of course, this is not the exact happening years ago when Gates decided to give up his post as Microsoft’ CEO for several reasons. But in his blog tackling the lessons that Apple may harvest from Microsoft’s almost similar experience, Todd Bishop says: “But in other ways, Apple now finds itself in much the same position as Microsoft. Its iconic co-founder is stepping down, and continuing on as the chairman of the company’s board.”

Bill Gates Had A Graceful Exit

Bill Gates decided to direct his time and energy to charity works and leave the corporate jungle in 2008. This was pre-planned years ahead and transition blueprints were ready. And then there was this grandiose farewell wherein the emotional Gates delivered his last speech as the organization’s CEO.  It was in front of thousands of Microsoft employees around the world.  However sad this occasion is, employees were given clear paths for the company following Gates’ era.  There was closure.

The same tribute and respect should be awarded to Steve Jobs, who stepped down to focus on his health issues.  He deserves it, he’s a king in his own way.  His genius was responsible for the better part of everything that Apple is right now. For employees, hearing a solid future plans from a leader provides an assurance that despite resignation of the company’s most powerful hand, they still have something to look forward to.

The Post-Gates Era Becomes an Epic Fail

Gates turned the software industry into one of the most income-generating sectors in the planet. And when he resigned 3 years ago, he left a praiseworthy legacy and unanswered problems as well.  One of which was the competition with Google as the premier global search engine, a dilemma that remains unsolved to this day.  Furthermore, Microsoft has actually spent more time problem-solving for Microsoft Bing’s mobile and social integration, the not-so-warm public reception of Kinect and troubles on Vista OS and Windows overall.  The Gates-less enterprise has yet to positively surprise the world since their founder left.

Google became enemy number for Apple some months ago, when Jobs declared an open war with the organization.  However, they are battling in a different zone; Apple and Google fight for mobile market supremacy.  But unlike Microsoft, Apple is without a doubt at the pinnacle right now, and its pillars in the mobile soil are firmly grounded.  Cook is inheriting one of the finest existing brands in information technology and the world, with  a strong business advantage that he can capitalize on. People are anticipating quite a number of launches from Apple that include new line of Macs and iPhone 5. Arguably, the market performance of the coming product releases will be the first of many early reviews on how Cook measures up to Jobs.  Main focuses of the new leadership should be marketing and research.  The former being a major challenge with the report of the iAd head departing from Apple as well.

Interesting Parallels of Jobs and Gates

  • Appealing Surnames. Aside from being plural nouns, Gates and Jobs are easy-to-recall family names. Today, these are equivalent to the word legend.
  • Drop-outs. Perhaps more than encouraging the young minds to drop out of school, the two innovators encourage the creative thinkers to venture into something that will liberate their ideas and concepts, even if they lack diplomas from the academe.  Jobs left Reed College in Portland after one semester, while Gates is considered one of the most illustrious Harvard drop-outs.
  • Fashion Sense. Even if Vogue would not approve, both gentlemen have carried a fashion sense that may look weird, but is worth a fortune. Jobs are often seen in black turtlenecks and popularized the New Balance running shoes. Big, round and thick glasses became Gates’ trademark.
  • Richest Americans. The men who changed the way we look at IT forever are not surprisingly frequent mentions on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest, billionaires and most powerful Americans.  Steve Jobs’ current net worth is estimated to be at $8.3 billion.

While the two premier icons of information technology may have undeniable similarities and have tread parallel roads, they have carved a name for themselves using their own version of formula to success. But what we could takeaway from the corporate lives of Jobs and Gates is that they are both visionaries. Always one step ahead of everyone, constantly challenging their abilities and bold—traits similar to what we read in history books of war heroes. They are icons that truly changed the world.