Bill Gates praises Steve Jobs ability to 'cast spells' on people

CNET | 7/8/2019 | Daniel Van Boom
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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had a long, complicated relationship and a rivalry that sometimes led to them harshly criticizing one another. On Sunday, though, 63-year-old Gates had plenty of praise for the late Apple CEO, who died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer.

Gates appeared on Fareed Zakaria's Sunday GPS show, which focused on leading teams and companies. Zakaria, a CNN host, asked Gates about Jobs' management style, noting that Jobs broke almost every rule there is about leading a company.

Steve - Example - Home - Parts - Jobs

"Steve [is] a good example of 'don't do this at home,'" Gates laughed. He said it's easy to imitate the "bad parts" of Jobs' career, saying he could at times be "an ****," but that Jobs had some once-in-a-lifetime qualities that can't be replicated.

"Steve is a very singular case where the company really was on a path to die and it goes and becomes the most valuable company in the world with some products that are really quite amazing," Gates said. "There aren't going to be many stories like that."

Gates - Time - Bill - Melinda - Gates

Gates, who now devotes most of his time to philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, made special mention of Jobs' notorious ability to influence people, often against their better judgement.

"I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized," he said. "Because I'm a minor wizard, the spells don't work on me. I could not cast those spells, but I'd see them and I'd say, 'hey, don't!"

Gates - NeXT - Company - Jobs - Stints

Gates pointed to NeXT, a company Jobs started in between stints at Apple. A workstation for academic institutions and professionals, the Next Computer was the first ever to allowed you to email audio clips or read an ebook -- but it also cost $6,500 in 1988, or over $13,000 in 2019 money.

"When...
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