Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
Can you believe it? Plug “How to be Steve Jobs” or “Steve Jobs lessons” into Google and you’ll get page after page of tips. One trite homily after another explains how to imitate a few of the great dictator’s tics. Switch “Jobs” for “Ballmer” and you get almost nothing.
I bet you could learn a lot from Steve Ballmer. More than you can learn from Jobs. You’re not like Jobs. Jobs was a handsome lustrous-haired genius who hooked up with another genius in his early 20s and formed a new, globally important (and immediately successful) company. Ballmer was a funny looking bald non-genius who joined a growing company as employee 30. Which is more like you?
Jobs’ net worth at death was $10 billion. Ballmer today is worth $22 billion. He worked at Microsoft for 34 years solid. He wasn’t fired once.
If you’re a non genius who hasn’t formed a globally important company in your early 20s — and especially if you’re funny looking — you’ll probably learn more from Ballmer than you can from Jobs.
I'm sure Ballmer will have a ton to answer for when the guillotines come, and I recognize he can only be this way because of his privilege, but goddammit if we're going to be subject to a plutocracy I'm glad at least some of them can be entertaining.
- "non-genius" is a bit reductive in light of of Ballmer's pre-Microsoft achievements.
- A longer profile, wherein he appears to be a more typical billionaire.
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