Steve Jobs Will Be Forgotten In 50 Years, According To Malcolm Gladwell

Steve Jobs will be forgotten long before Bill Gates, according to author Malcom Gladwell, who recently sat down for a talk at the Toronto Public Library’s Appel Salon.

Gladwell asserted, according to KRDO, that:

“Of the great entrepreneurs of this era, people will have forgotten Steve Jobs. ‘Who was Steve Jobs again?’ But … there will be statues of Bill Gates across the Third World. There’s a reasonable shot that — because of his money — we will cure malaria.”

Gladwell believes that, while people like Jobs who have contributions to the technology industry are worth remembering, he suggests that entrepreneurs, like the late Apple co-founder, are not worth being idolized. He does, however, believe that people like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates should be remembered, but for their philanthropy, not their entrepreneurship. Gladwell stated:

“Gates is the most ruthless capitalist, and then he wakes up one morning and he says, ‘enough.’ And he steps down, he takes his money, he takes it off the table. I firmly believe that 50 years from now, [Gates] will be remembered for his charitable work, no one will even remember what Microsoft is.”

Brian Caulfield firmly disagrees with Gladwell, believing that entrepreneurs, such as J.P. Morgan and Thomas Edison are remembered more than humanitarians Albert Schweitzer and Father Damien. CBS News reports that Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism is not a direct attack on the Apple co-founder, but instead a sharp criticism of how business-leaders are being celebrated. He stated:

“[W]e need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating. They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders they wouldn’t be great businessmen. So when a businessman is a great moral leader, it is because they have maintained their conscience separately from their operations.”

Do you think it is right that we celebrate entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs more so than we celebrate humanitarians and philanthropists?