The One Thing About Steve Jobs That Made Bill Gates Jealous

In the last century, there have been rivalries that have defined the cultural landscape. Santa Claus vs. the Martians. Batman v Superman. Fans of Batman v Superman v movie critics. But perhaps none of them had the same impact as the decades-long frenemy throwdown that was Bill Gates versus Steve Jobs

Through much of the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s, Gates and Jobs stood as the figureheads for what were arguably the two most powerful tech corporations in the world. The two came from different worlds: Jobs was the adopted son of a repo man, Gates' parents were a high powered lawyer and a member of the board of directors of a prominent financial holdings company. Through their talent, hard work, and vegetarianism (maybe) they each rose up to be two of the most successful businessmen in the world. 

Surprisingly, at least for those of us who will likely never run a multi-billion dollar corporation, Gates doesn't seem to envy anything about his old nemesis, at least not in terms of the business he ran. Bill doesn't talk about wishing he'd come up with the iPod or thought of putting giant, translucent, brightly-colored shells on his late-90s era computers. He just wishes he'd been able to speak on stage the way Jobs used to.

Steve Jobs was the public speaking apple of Bill's eye

In a Wall Street Journal interview, Gates said that he admired Jobs' public speaking acumen, stating that he himself had never found addressing large crowds easy. "I wish I could be as magical," Gates was quoted as saying, "because I have causes that are in some ways more impactful and I need to make sure they don't get ignored."

"I've learned a little bit about public speaking," he continued, "and how to articulate how to solve these problems over time. I've gotten OK on that in a certain sense."

Gates isn't alone in his insecurity. Psycom lists glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, as one of the most common causes of anxiety, saying that it affects up to 5% of the population. The good news is, there's probably an app for that. No telling if Gates will find that comforting or not.