What do Bernie Madoff and Steve Jobs have in common? More than you think.

Common Ground

Steve Jobs was a legendarily persuasive marketer, known for the "reality-distortion field" that made his pitches nearly impossible to resist.  

Bernie Madoff, a master of the soft sell, convinced credulous investors that he was doing them a huge favor by taking their money. 

Jobs successively disrupted the computing, communication, media, and entertainment businesses. 

Madoff helped build the Nasdaq exchange, where Apple shares trade to this day. 

Divergence

Jobs was resilient. Forced out of Apple in 1985, he later built it into one of the world's most valuable companies. 

Madoff was anything but. Rather than reveal early trading losses, he built a Ponzi scheme to conceal them.

Jobs left a legacy of beautiful, useful products, loyal customers, and frustrated competitors. 

Madoff's legacy includes vanished fortunes, shattered trust, damaged institutions, and broken lives.