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.
5 Pepsi Protects Coca-Cola's Industry Secrets
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The 20th century was marked by a brutal rivalry between two international giants; a "cold war" that resulted in a lot of heavy-handed propaganda, a race to get to space, and David Hasselhoff performing overseas. We're talking, of course, about Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Historically, Coca-Cola has always managed to stay several steps ahead of its rival, and one of the reasons for its success are its fiercely protected secrets (for instance, only two people in the world know Coke's formula). So, let's say that you come across some top secret Coca-Cola product info, and let's say you're an unscrupulous ass looking to get rich through illegal means. The question isn't "Who would you sell the info to?" It's "How much would you ask Pepsi for?"
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"I was thinking all of the dollars, but I'm flexible."
So it isn't surprising that, when Coca-Cola employee Joya Williams contacted PepsiCo offering some highly confidential documents and product samples she had sneaked out of the building, Pepsi expressed interest in purchasing its rival's secrets. After all, such information could have given the company an edge and potentially allowed it to make millions at the expense of Coca-Cola.
However, while Williams and her accomplices celebrated the deal with some Mountain Dew, it turned out that Pepsi had already called her bosses at Coca-Cola. Also, the FBI.
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The FBI files called it the worst cola betrayal since New Coke.
Working together with the two companies, the feds sent in one of their Cola Affairs agents to take care of business. Setting up a sting, the FBI recorded Williams' pal (who only went by "Dirk") handing over a product sample and brokering a deal where the agent promised $1.5 million in exchange for the secret files. Finally, after the FBI captured video footage of Williams stealing more files, the gang was rounded up and sent to the slammer.
It's rare for giant corporations to look out for each other like this, especially if they're longtime rivals fighting bitterly over market share. Unfortunately, this display of friendship didn't inspire Joya Williams and her pals, who lied and tried to blame each other during their trial.
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"I swear, I thought she was talking about the other kind of coke."