No matter what your opinion of Steve Jobs is, as a businessman and a human being, there's no denying the impact he's had on technology and, in particular, his ability to mass market high-tech items and permeate the mainstream audience, creating a consumer culture like we've never seen before. But how will he be remembered 50 years from now?
He won't be remembered at all, according to Malcom Gladwell, who told CNN
in an interview that Windows superstar Bill Gates is far more likely to leave a lasting impression on the consciousness of society.
"Of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs," Gladwell said.
In contrast, Gladwell believes "there will be statues of Bill Gates across the Third World." It has nothing to do with Windows versus Mac OS X or Microsoft versus Apple. It's all about the money and how it's used. Bill Gates, as you know, is all about his philanthropy efforts these days, and Gladwell thinks the amount of money being funneled through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation lends itself to long-lasting accomplishments, ones that will be remembered for years to come.
"There's a reasonable shot that -- because of his money -- we will cure malaria," Gladwell told CNN
As Gladwell pictures it, 50 years from now nobody will remember Microsoft, but they'll certainly remember Bill Gates and his charitable efforts. And Steve Jobs? "He was an extraordinarily brilliant businessman and entrepreneur," Gladwell says, but not someone who created the same kind of lasting legacy as his archrival.