We all have at least one enemy we'd love to see crawl on their knees to beg for our help, only for us to say no and laugh at their misery because screw you, Joey, we'll never forgive you for dropping our ThunderCats Pogs in the toilet. Some of the most powerful people in the world have found themselves in this exact situation ... and when the time came to tell their rivals to eat shit, they instead turned around and said, "Sure thing, buddy, let me help you with that."
6 Bill Gates Saves Apple from Bankruptcy
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Few corporate rivalries have gotten so nasty as the one between Microsoft and Apple. Both companies have been known to get their hands dirty and leave morals aside to get ahead of the other. Microsoft has made millions of dollars shamelessly copying Apple's patents, and Apple did those "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercials.
So they're pretty much even.
But Apple wasn't always the giant it is today -- in fact, in 1997 the company was on its last legs. Co-founder Steve Jobs had been out of the company for the past 12 years, and business had been dropping steadily since then (the aforementioned "Microsoft keeps stealing our shit" shit didn't help). In desperation, Apple allowed Jobs to rejoin the company, but he knew they were going to need a little more help than he could provide to save it from bankruptcy.
Fortunately, Jobs convinced an old pal to come to the rescue. His name? Bill "I Invented Motherfucking Windows" Gates.
From Steve Jobs' private collection.
Yep, Microsoft's president ended up saving his biggest rival, although his motives weren't entirely selfless. Apple had been trying to sue Gates for patent infringement, but Microsoft's lawyers kept the lawsuits dragging for years. However, everyone knew they couldn't keep stalling forever, and a ruling in Apple's favor could have cost Microsoft billions. So Jobs went up to Gates and hammered out a little deal: He would drop the suits if Microsoft invested $150 million into Apple. Also, Microsoft had to continue developing its Office software for the Apple OS.
"Everyone loves Clippy, Bill. Gotta have that Clippy. This is non-negotiable."
Gates agreed, and the cash influx not only helped with Apple's financial troubles, but also made other investors want to get in on that action -- if even Apple's biggest competitor was investing in it, the company had to be on to something. Apple was saved and, as you may know, went on to push the boundaries of computing by inventing the devices that we all say we hate but secretly have. Think about it: Without Gates giving Apple the cash lifeline, there would be no iTunes, iPod, iPhone, or iPad, which means half of you wouldn't be reading this article on the toilet.