Prolific author Malcolm Gladwell, who has written some of the most provocative and perceptive books of our time, said in a recent interview that Bill Gates will be revered 50 years from now because of the enormous good he is doing around the world with his billions, but Apple founder Steve Jobs will not be remembered at all.
In an appearance at the Toronto Public Library in late May, Gladwell said that Bill Gates may very well cure malaria with the money he has devoted to the cause. He said there would likely be statues erected in his honor five decades hence—but most people won’t even remember Microsoft, the company he founded.
Gladwell’s comments went viral after someone posted a video of his remarks in Toronto. Gladwell, who is Canadian, is one of the bestselling author of the past decade. All four of his books have been fixtures on the New York Times bestsellers list and each of them, including Blink, The Tipping Point and Outliers, have had an impact on American pop culture with their brilliant dissections of how society works.
While Gladwell, who is still a staff writer for The New Yorker, didn’t elaborate on the late Jobs, he indicated that his value was primarily as a businessman and self-promoter.
“We need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating,” Gladwell said. “They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders, they wouldn’t be great businessmen.”