If you didn’t know much about Bill Gates, you wouldn’t think that he’s got much in common with Michael Jordan except for his success. However, the Microsoft co-founder is much more similar to MJ than you’d assume.

Much like Jordan, Gates burned the midnight oil during his formative years when given the opportunity to do so. He spent every waking day in high school learning how to become a great programmer.

As a result of his endeavors, when the computer industry became ripe for the advent of personal computers, he was there to take advantage of the situation alongside his co-founder Paul Allen.

This situation is analogous to how Michael Jordan was the perfect NBA marketing entity. After all, Bird and Magic did save the NBA’s popularity, but it was MJ who took them worldwide.

But there’s even more to the elements of similarity between these 2 global icons.

Bill Gates says he was brash with his work colleagues, much like Michael Jordan
Bill Gates infamously had a short fuse during his tenure as the CEO of Microsoft. Many of his subordinates received the hairdryer treatment from him – often for trivial reasons.

Over the years, Gates mellowed a little and changed his disposition towards his employees. He owned up to his brash, unsavory behavior in a 2020 podcast interview, saying:

“I certainly wasn’t a sweetheart when I ran Microsoft.”

“I never asked [Microsoft employees] to work any harder, or be tougher on their mistakes, than I was on myself.” Gates said, comparing himself to someone like Michael Jordan.

“It doesn’t completely forgive it, but at least it shows where you’re coming from, that at least you’re projecting your own values and trying to get everyone to be hardcore like you are.”

“If you push yourself super, super hard, and you’re so tough on [yourself] when you made a mistake … you definitely project that onto other people, particularly if you’re trying to move at full speed.”

Unlike Jordan, Gates’ front office record is solid
In addition to being a precocious programmer, Gates also achieved wonderful things as a CEO. Microsoft went public around 11 years after the company was founded.

During Gates’ tenure as CEO until 2000, the company’s stock price went from 10 cents to around $55. Gates became one of the poster boys for the computing revolution that’s taken place in the last 30-odd years.

Since handing over the reins to Steve Ballmer in 2000, the company’s stock price has risen over 6-fold till date. Gates has obviously enjoyed the fruits of his early labor manifold, holding the position of the ‘world’s richest man’ for several years.