First of all, the answer is no. Although Elon Musk and Steve Jobs have some similarities, they come from different backgrounds and have had different pathways in the tech ecosystem. Both of them are great visionaries and foresighted individuals. Their dedication to their businesses moved their companies from zero to the top. However, they are simply individuals of different worlds.
Taking Bill Gates’ ideas about this topic into consideration can make the answer more evident. As he said in one of his interviews with Bloomberg, “If you know people personally, that kind of gross oversimplification seems strange. There are some differences between how Musk and Jobs operate. Elon’s more of a hands-on engineer. Steve was a genius at design and picking people and marketing. You wouldn’t walk into a room and confuse them with each other.”
When you think of their similarities and differences through Bill Gates’ interview, you can notice that their backgrounds define their mindset and how they execute and manage their companies. Steve Jobs was a college dropout, and he built his entrepreneurship journey through his extraordinary abilities in design. Remember that he didn’t give up continuing calligraphy courses he would rely on for his companies and products. Steve Jobs was also really good at marketing and finding the right people. His skill set based on these points defined the journey of Apple, Pixar, and NeXT Computer.
When it comes to Elon Musk, he was a physics and economics graduate. He dropped out of his Ph.D. in physics to found his first company, Zip2. It might be helpful to point out that he was coding Zip2 at night. He has and relies on engineering-related skills when he runs his companies. He learned how to code at a very young age and created his first video game when he was only 12. After his Zip2 and PayPal journey, he joined Tesla and started SpaceX at the same time. In both of these companies, he has been seriously participating in development and production processes. He says that most people think CEOs spend their time on business plans, fancy presentations, and long-lasting business meetings. Still, he allocates his time to participate in the production and design of products of his companies. Thanks to his background in physics, he studied rocket science and vehicles on his own. (Note that he has profound knowledge in both space and automotive industries.)
June 22, 2022