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Steve Jobs and Bill Gates rivalry explained – Fire vs Water

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All those who are into technology will know how far and deep the competition between Apple and Microsoft reaches. The root of this competition arises from the differing views and approaches of the two leaders, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

After Steve Jobs death more and more information is revealed about their competitiveness but also, surprisingly, about their cooperation and deals of which most people are not aware. The recent Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson reveals the details of their complex business relationship as do recent interviews with Bill Gates. We decided to dig deeper and see what is happening on the five element level to better understand the root of their rivalry.

As we guessed, Jobs and Gates have one very specific element match which explains a lot about how they worked and what they thought of each other.

Yang Water and Yang Fire – a perfect friction

It turns out that Gates has the self-element Yang Water. Yang Waters are pure business people, they are always on the look out for good business opportunities and often copy other people’s ideas. Sounds familiar? Jobs did accuse Gates of “stealing” his ideas to build Microsoft. But actually there is not so much stealing there, Gates didn’t copy-paste because he is lazy, sneaky or evil. He had to behave like this because it is his nature. That’s just the way how Yang Water people function, and to break news, there is a 10% chance that you are one of them, considering that there are all together 10 self-elements in nature.

Sun reflecting in ocean

Photo credit: blmurch on Flickr

On other hand Steve Jobs is Yang Fire, the most powerful self-element of all and the only one not from this planet. Yang Fires are pure visionaries, they are ideas people who often can’t do anything on their own and require partners and strong teams to bring their visions into reality. Sounds familiar? In the early days Jobs needed Steve Wozniak to turn ideas into products. Later he was obsessed with getting a team of A-class people (that’s how he called them) to make amazing products according to his visions.

Now, the question is, how these two self-elements are working together? Very interestingly indeed.

Yang fire in nature represents the sun, providing energy and warmth (ideas).

Yang Water represents the ocean. Some Yang Waters can be beach puddles and some of them are huge waters. The bigger the water, the more business potential they have.

The sun and the ocean are producing one of the fastest natural reactions in the universe, light, the most important substance for life on earth.

As we can see from Steve Jobs biography, these two had a deep cooperation from early days but also massive competitiveness. This element friction is one of the main reasons why they became the two most powerful tech people on earth. They were constantly producing fast friction and the result was light, in our case, amazing products made by Microsoft and Apple.

Lack of respect

Unfortunately this competitiveness is based on unhealthy ground, a mutual lack of respect which usually Yang Fire and Yang Water have.

Yang Water people (Bill Gates) are very down to earth business people and don’t really understand Yang Fires who constantly live in some kind of illusion, pushing certain ideas which don’t look very realistic or achievable according to the current conditions. Yang Waters are practical people who, beside making money, are also wanting to bring those practical solutions to the majority of people. They don’t have much patience to work out some design detail or to make products look attractive, which was one of the main focuses of Steve Jobs.

Yang Fire people (Steve Jobs) consider themselves artists and do not have much respect for business type of people whom they find calculating and just money orientated. Yang Fire have only one drive, to be respected for bringing ideas and putting them in reality, money is never a premium goal for yang fire people. Jobs was looking down on Bill Gates because to him Gates was the personification of that kind of people.

The mutual need

Yang Water needs the big vision of Yang Fire whereas Yang Fire needs the reality of the Yang Water person. Without the sun the ocean would not produce all the wonderful hues of blue, green and turquoise, making the Earth so beautiful seen from space. Without each other their success is much more limited. Yang Water and Yang Fire absolutely need each other. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs needed each other to succeed.

So, here we go, the perfect element combination is the hidden explanation of one of the biggest rivalries / cooperation of the modern age. Yang Fire and Yang Water are the perfect combination when working together for the same product and in the same company. Had Steve Jobs and Bill Gates been able to put aside their elemental difference and egos, it would be very likely they would have produced even bigger things. In any case, they achieved great goals in their distant friction and are great role models for millions of people around the world.

Which of the two would you choose to be your personal role model depends on your own element combination.

Want to find out? Just drop us a comment below and we will help you to discover what is your self-element.

Johny Miric

Co-founder of Mind Hero and wellness center Energy Clinic Hamburg. Follow him on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook

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