While Hollywood has tried to get the story of the rivalry between Apple visionary Steve Jobs and Microsoft trailblazer Bill Gates right, Steve Wozniak had a front row seat as it went down in real time.
Wozniak was the co-founder and technical genius behind Apple. In that role, he was the man that brought Jobs’ visions to life. Over the years, he would get to know both Jobs and Gates very well as Apple and Microsoft weaved in and out of being competitors and partners.
During a press call on Wednesday for National Geographic Channel’s “American Genius,” Wozniak explained the main difference between Jobs and Gates.
“Steve Jobs [has] a very futuristic forward vision, almost a bit of the science fiction, ‘Here’s what life could be,’ but Bill Gates had more of an execution ability to build the things that are needed now, to build a company now, make the profits now, in the short-term,” Wozniak explained. “I think that was the biggest difference between them.”
Wozniak, who was interviewed on the upcoming National Geographic program, said that while Jobs may be the more celebrated figure currently in the story of the rise of personal computers, Gates was the one who really understood how to make money.
“You really need the vision like Steve Jobs has, but the vision doesn’t go anywhere if you try to jump in and build products before they are cost effective for what they do, return on investment is there,” he said.
Wozniak added, “It was during the time of the Macintosh that the world market grew 10 times and Apple did not go up with it.”
“American Genius: Jobs vs. Gates” premieres Monday, June 1 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.
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