What makes Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Different?

Jobs and Gates when they were young

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are the 2 tycoon that have revolutionize the computer industry and change the world. There were so many debates made by people saying that which one is better. And if you were the Mac hardcore user, you will think that Jobs is better. While on the other hand, if you were hardcore Windows especially programmer or a corporate IT guy, you might vote for Bill Gates. After all, what I learn in Directive Communication – there is no such thing as Fair because it is very subjective. (I am also biased because I think Steve is way supercool!)

But what I am going to discuss today is not about who is better (or cooler). Both of them were the best in a different way, but what makes them different? Both really did well in evolving computer industry, and both of them did it in a different way. What makes them different?

Emotional drivers
There are 8 emotional drivers in Directive Communication Psychology. What makes people motivated to do things are highly dependent on their emotional drivers. Whether one can get emotional gratification on what they are doing.

Steve Jobs top 3 Emotional Drivers as what I can see are Excellence, Achievement and Significance/Recognition. And he has a purple brain. What does this mean? As a purple brain, Steve looks things at the detailed level and combined with the excellence emotional drive, this has made people working with him going nuts. The development of the Macintosh, for instance, took more than three years, because of Jobs’s obsession with detail. He scrap the idea of an internal fan just because he thought it was noisy and clumsy. And he wanted his engineers to redesign the Mac’s motherboard, just because it does not looked elegant. 
Steve has a sense of excellence and achievement. He once said:

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me”

He clearly stated there “done something wonderful”, not just “done something”. The brain color and emotional drivers has translated everything to Apple brand and the corporate culture (at least when he leads the company).  Until the end of his life, Steve is continuously help Apple to create another excellent product to fullfil his emotional needs of Excellence.

Bill Gates on the other hand has a different top 3 Emotional Drivers which are Contribution/Responsibility, Achievement and Excellence. The ranking were different and it shapes what he is today. And as a red brain, he has a long-term vision. 

“When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had big dreams about software. We had dreams about the impact it could have. We talked about a computer on every desk and in every home. It’s been amazing to see so much of that dream become a reality and touch so many lives. I never imagined what an incredible and important company would spring from those original ideas.”

You can see that Bill Gates has a vision of every desk in every home has a computer. And he mentioned – touch so many lives. This is what I mean by Red Brain + Contribution Emotional Driver.   And it does not stop there. The sense of contribution of Bill Gates has lead him to the establishment of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He stepped down from Microsoft to pursue his Emotional Needs for Contribution.

What is your emotional drivers and how does it affect your life and the way you doing things? How can you leverage on your Brain Color so that you can get the best out of you?

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