Newsletter Issue #800: Apple and the Cult of Personality

March 30th, 2015

If I asked you to name the top ten executives from the major multinational corporations, I’m sure most of you might manage one or two without having to cheat and Google the information. Corporations are usually considered to be managed by faceless entities, and you know them strictly by their products and their services.

When it comes to personal computers, however, two of the pioneers in the business are world-famous personalities known for their brilliance and their faults, sometimes in equal parts. I suppose part of that is the early attention they received as they built tech gear meant for regular people to use.

So we have the original “pirates of Silicon Valley,” Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as much close friends as serious competitors, who have provided much of our cultural picture of the typical Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Some movies and TV shows depict, for example, a megalomaniac tech company executive who bears more than a passing resemblance to Gate. He was once and always the quintessential computer nerd, though these days his life is more about philanthropy.

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