This article  is a fascinating comparison of the words used by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell on recent keynote style speeches.  There are a bunch of interesting things that jumped out at me about this data:


1.  The average number of words used per sentence was incredibly interesting. 

    1. Gates - 21.5 words per sentence
    2. Dell - 16.5 words per sentence
    3. Jobs - 10.5 words per sentence. 

The point the writer of the article was trying to make was that Jobs was much easier to understand by mere mortals.  I was personally surprised to see the variance in the number of words per sentence -- I thought they would have been bunched closer together.

 
2.  The most used word by each of the speakers was also fascinating: 

    1. Gates - "devices"
    2. Jobs - "phone"
    3. Dell - "gaming"

If ten years ago someone told me that the most uttered word out of Bill Gates mouth was going to be "devices," I would have laughed them out of the room.  Same goes for "phone" for Jobs and "gaming" for Dell.  It's amazing how these companies have shifted their positioning over the years.  It will be interesting to see which ones pull off these shifts in positioning over the next couple of years.

 
3.  The word "cool" is one of the most common utterances out of all three of these middle aged tech industry leaders' mouths.  I always thought as I got older that I should use the word "cool" less and less, but I guess the word "cool" has become a permanent part of our lexicon.

 
-- Brian Halligan.

 

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Originally published Feb 1, 2007 4:37:00 PM, updated March 21 2013