Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: Two Rich Jerks who don’t even think much of each other

Some amusing interactions between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. (Heads of Microsoft and Apple, the last one recently deceased, as you readers already know.)

This is from the  current Malcolm Gladwell article in the New Yorker:

In the nineteen-eighties, Jobs reacted the same way [getting pissed off – gfb] when Microsoft came out with Windows. It used the same graphical user interface—icons and mouse—as the Macintosh. Jobs was outraged and summoned Gates from Seattle to Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters. 

“They met in Jobs’s conference room, where Gates found himself surrounded by ten Apple employees who were eager to watch their boss assail him,” Isaacson writes. “Jobs didn’t disappoint his troops. ‘You’re ripping us off!’ he shouted. ‘I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!’ ”

Gates looked back at Jobs calmly. Everyone knew where the windows and the icons came from. “Well, Steve,” Gates responded. “I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

(XEROX PARC had invented the entire idea, and got nothing out of it. The point of the article is mostly that Jobs was a tinkerer, one who improves other people’s inventions by using still other people’s ideas, and then claiming the whole thing originated from him. gfb)

Time and again, Isaacson (a writer – gfb) repeatedly asks Jobs about Gates and Jobs cannot resist the gratuitous dig. “Bill is basically unimaginative,” Jobs tells Isaacson, “and has never invented anything, which I think is why he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

(of course, that’s what they both did. This photo is of one of Steve Jobs’ many identical cars, with no tags, and in a handicapped zone with no tags for that, either.)

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting and informative article. I wasn’t aware of the relationship with Xerox.


  2. It is not nice, and bad luck I’ve heard, to speak ill of the dead. Do you really need to do that, sir?


    • By your logic, we need to stop speaking I’ll of Hitler and other historical monsters, too, since they are dead? If it’s bad luck, then I’ll just have to risk a bit more. Btw that was Jobs and Gates speaking I’ll of each other.


  3. While someone said you were a gentleman, sir, your comment puts that in doubt. Of course we can speak ill of Hitler.

    But let’s focus on the living. You think Gates and Jobs were net/net bad for this country? Can’t make that point stick in light of products invented and sold, jobs supported, contributions to intellectual capital. So, they are jerks, maybe most of all, in yo mind, for trying to improve education (Gates in particular, Jobs did not focus on it). Too many otherwise intelligent people (you are one, certainly, but most of the anti-ed reformer crowd are evidently victims of their own product, if yo know what I mean), think he is bad because he is a capitalist and so rich. They would rather wallow in defeat and victimhood, blah, blah.

    You’d like to freeze DCPS the way it was at the moment you left it. You must think that by almost everything you have written. You like the good ole days. Just think of the ticking social time bomb of legions of ineffective teachers, doing little to move students ahead, just giving up and waiting for pensions. That was not you, but it is true of so many of yo colleagues.

    Do you want these living barriers to social improvement to just stay that way, or would you rather improve them?


    • You are dreaming if you think that “You’d like to freeze DCPS the way it was at the moment you left it.” DCPS wasn’t well run at all either when I was a little kid going to school in it during the 1960’s when we had segregation. It wasn’t run well in 1978 when I started teaching. It continued to have unbelievable mismanagement the entire time I taught there. Every time I thought we had hit rock-bottom, and things just had to get better from now on, I would be proven wrong yet again. DCPS found a way to get worse. Last thing I would want to do is leave public education the way it was. However, my beef is with the current crop of educational Deformers. They are not improving anything; they are making them worse, if anything.

      You also write, “You like the good ole days.”

      Again, Ha!

      You write, “Just think of the ticking social time bomb of legions of ineffective teachers, doing little to move students ahead, just giving up and waiting for pensions.”

      Actually, most of the teachers I worked with tried quite hard and cared a lot about their students. That’s why they became teachers and stayed in the classroom. The d##ch#b#gs who hated kids left the classroom. Some of them got their subordinates to write their PhD theses so they could become school administrators. Those a$$hole administrators (AHAs) would maneuver to have a few lackeys among the teachers — the ones who would be given the easiest jobs and didn’t have to actually work, but would be loyal and support the AHAs. Or they would be the athletic coaches wasting their students’ time…

      JB, you actually appear to not understand public schools in this country at all.


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