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Setting the Bar for Provocative Opinions Really Low…

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, no stranger to provocative opinions, is at it again. During a recent interview in Toronto, Gladwell said that people a half-century from now will revere Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates but will have no clear memory of his longtime tech rival, Apple chief Steve Jobs.

Is that really a provocative opinion?

Does anyone really think Steve Jobs is going to be remembered 50 years from now? I wouldn’t bet too hard on him being remembered 25 years from now.

Gladwell thinks that Bill Gates might be remembered for his philanthropy. Not too likely. Philanthropists don’t get remembered. Not unless they put their names on buildings and even then it’s a wash. How many people use Carnegie libraries and have any idea what that means. There were philanthropists who did much more to fight disease and aren’t remembered.

“We need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating,” Gladwell said in Toronto. “They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders, they wouldn’t be great businessmen.” AJDTZGU26Q7E

Aren’t moral leaders just people who promoted themselves really well? Isn’t Gladwell just a guy who promotes himself really well?

The same things that can be said about Jobs and Gates apply to most public personalities. They’re overrated, they’re sharp at seizing opportunities and they picked the right moment to get ahead.

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