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Was Bill Gates an Innovator?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on June 17, 2006

Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine has interesting insights into the legacy of Bill Gates and what he did at Microsoft. Jarvis is far more critical of him as an “innovator” than the corporate managerial class, reflected in the BCG survey that made up The Most Innovative Companies cover we ran a few months back. Check it out.

Jarvis says that Gates was no inventor, visionary or innovator but an exploiter of other’s ideas, starting with CP/M. Jarvis says “Gates took others’ innovations and turned them into products and profits. Every great invention needs a business genius to bring it to market. For software, that was Gates.”

And then came the internet and Google, right?

Reader Comments

RitaSue Siegel

June 17, 2006 4:30 PM

Xerox PARC was derided for not commercializing its many of innovations, yet Bill Gates is ridiculed because he did. I don't get it. Would those who ridicule him rather he didn't? Maybe they don't like the form that he did it in, but if it wasn't him, it would have been someone else. What I have always believed is that most real pioneers are not successful. It is the exception when they are. It is the people who come later, who transform the pioneering ideas and make them usable who most often become successful.This is another form of evolution.

MBT Shoes Online

May 30, 2010 11:28 AM

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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