CNBC today posted a list of people called CNBC’s First 25. They have ranked list of the 25 people we judge to have had the most profound impact on business and finance since 1989, the year CNBC went live. They have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was ranked 2nd among the list and Apple founder Steve Jobs topped the list. Even though the author claims that the ranks are arguable, they have chosen based on the inputs from the panelists.
Jobs at No. 1 and Gates at No. 2? Or should it be the other way around? After all, there hardly would have been a personal computer revolution without Gates. Yes, you say, but if he hadn’t propagated an operating system, somebody else would have. True, but Gates did it. And even if IBM handed him the ball, he didn’t fumble. He built the dominant productivity software of the past quarter-century, Microsoft Office; the paramount browser, Explorer; incubated the world’s top travel website, Expedia; and hatched Xbox.
OK, you say, but he just wasn’t cool. Cool? Well, that was Jobs. He made elegant products consumers love, and he may have been the best retailer since Sam Walton.
But let’s talk about Jobs for a minute. The Apple OS never had more than a few points of market share on the desktop and laptop. Jobs didn’t put the smart in smartphones. Mike Lazaridis of BlackBerry did. And the iPod wasn’t the first portable music player. Sony’s Walkman was, and it had a radio. Philanthropy? Jobs didn’t come close to Gates. Fair enough, but he could rock a turtleneck—as well as everything from PCs, to music and movies, to smartphones—with style.
After reading their above argument, I feel Bill Gates should have been made the No.1 on the list.
Check out the full list here.