If you are a huge SpaceX enthusiast or an Apple fanboy/ iSheep/ Sheeple (or whatever you guys call each other these days), you would have come to the consensus that Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are irrevocably identical in some ways and polar opposites in others! Here, I break down the top 10 reasons that Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are similar!
This might be one of the most controversial of the lot, so I am starting with it! Apart from their mind blowing innovations, both have been known for their arrogant and destructive attitudes. Their work ethic relies on belittling people and bullying them into getting the work done! When people stand up to them, others applaud and congratulate them!
Apart from their mind blowing innovations, both have been known for their arrogant and destructive attitudes. Their work ethic relies on belittling people and bullying them into getting the work done! When people stand up to them, others applaud and congratulate them!
2. Revolutionary thinking
They don’t believe in rules, regulations, reality. They believe that reality will bend for them. What with Musk’s horribly inaccurate deadlines and Jobs’ reality distortion field, the two truly believe that they are special and the world will bend for their cause!
3. Duty to humanity
Musk and Jobs deeply care about empowering humankind, the advancement of humankind, and putting the right tools in their hands. Although both have different noble causes, both believe that they are the saviors of the Universe, propelling innovation in the right direction. The similarity in thinking makes you wonder if this type of thinking is what sets you apart from them.
I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary, in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. (Musk, 2014)
4. Unparalleled inventions
Musk created revolutionary space technology at a time where only NASA dominated the field. Apple created computers when few were there in the field. Each one picked a field that – of course – they were interested in, but there was also less competition. This allowed them to have free reigns, molding the field at their will.
5. Many companies, many products
Jobs not only contributed t0 Apple, but Pixar Animation was also his making. He was the CEO of both firms and both companies have transformed their respective fields. The same can be said for Musk, who not only ventured in space technology but also revolutionized the automobile industry. This clearly shows their adeptness and passion for their work!
6. Becoming CEOs
Initially, Musk and Jobs struggled to be CEOs. Their strong personality and too-intense drive coupled with their arrogant attitude made it hard to work with them. Shareholders and investors alike found it hard to see their vision and cared only about profits, but our young lads were destined for much more than that!
After struggling with PayPal and Apple, Musk and Jobs respectively picked up on a few things over the years and transformed into incontestible and uncompromising leaders.
7. Unbelieving Bystanders
Many refused to believe in Musk and Jobs’ vision. They couldn’t see computers that dually integrated aesthetics and technology or reusable space rockets in the foreseeable future. Boy were they proven wrong and within the decade!
One of the many iterations of Apple’s Macintosh series
The infamous Dragon space capsule
8. Hardware vs Software
Both were strong proponents of the integration of hardware and software. They preferred creating a closed system, which they could control end to end. This is what made them really stand out as individual companies: their relentless unfaltering belief that integration has to be seamless.
People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7. If you have an extreme passion for producing great products, it pushes you to be integrated, to connect your hardware and software and content management. You want to break new ground, so you have to do it yourself. If you want to allow your products to be open to another hardware or software, you have to give up some vision. (Jobs, 2011)
9. Stressful family affairs
Their innate obsession/passion for their work left them with very little time for their families. Although Jobs and Musk both attempted to juggle the responsibilities, they often ignored their familial duties for work. However, their own childhoods forced them to focus on their kids sporadically.
- What is crazy is that Jobs paved the way for Musk! If Jobs hadn’t created iTunes, Musk would never have thought of creating an online banking system – PayPal.
- Musk has expanded in many more industries than Jobs did. While Jobs remained faithfully loyal to Apple, Musk traversed from PayPal to SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity and the Hyperloop.
- Jobs had a vision and used engineers to achieve his goals. Musk, on the other hand, had a vision and the intellect to achieve those goals. To a certain extent, he had an eidetic memory.
Quotes: We have a “Duty” to Explore Space, Says Elon Musk by Annalee Newitz
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson