In Their Own Words: What Steve Jobs And Bill Gates REALLY Thought About Each Other

steve jobs and bill gates ribalry pbs documentary

[credit provider=”PBS” url=”video.pbs.org/video/2163444131″]

There’s no relationship in history like that of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.As partners and rivals, they built the personal computing industry with two totally different styles.

Jobs was a working-class kid from California who believed in tight control over all products, and put a premium on design.

Bill Gates was an upper class kid from Washington who believed in open products, and didn’t worry too much about great design.

“Each one thought he was smarter than the other one, but Steve generally treated Bill as someone who was slightly inferior, especially in matters of taste and style,” said early Macintosh employee Andy Hertzfield in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio. He added, “Bill looked down on Steve because he couldn’t actually program.”

That’s a good snapshot of the relationship, but we’ve combed through Isaacson’s book to get a deeper sense of what the men thought of each other.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”gates-steve-jobs-was-fundamentally-odd-and-weirdly-flawed-as-a-human-being-1″
title=”Gates: Steve Jobs was “fundamentally odd,” and “weirdly flawed as a human being””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/76b9b914e911c548a3124100″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-on-gates-hed-be-a-broader-guy-if-he-had-dropped-acid-once-or-gone-off-to-an-ashram-when-he-was-younger-2″
title=”Jobs on Gates: “He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d39bad24bd7c8081f130000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-on-jobs-he-really-never-knew-much-about-technology-but-he-had-an-amazing-instinct-for-what-works-3″
title=”Gates on Jobs: “He really never knew much about technology, but he had an amazing instinct for what works””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d2de8f44bd7c86030030000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-bill-is-basically-unimaginative-and-has-never-invented-anything-which-is-why-i-think-hes-more-comfortable-now-in-philanthropy-than-technology-4″
title=”Jobs: “Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c0d5c567f8b9a8b5b140000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”he-just-shamelessly-ripped-off-other-peoples-ideas-said-jobs-of-gates-5″
title=””He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas,” said Jobs of Gates”
content=”This was a theme for Jobs. He also said, ‘They just ripped us off completely, because Gates has no shame’

To which Gates replied: ‘If he believes that, he really has entered into one of his own reality distortion fields.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e8c7c9aeab8ea766c00005b”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”when-apple-was-thinking-about-buying-next-gates-shredded-the-company-and-jobs-6″
title=”When Apple was thinking about buying NeXT, Gates shredded the company and Jobs”
content=”Gates said this to Amelio: ‘You really think Steve Jobs has anything there? I know his technology, it’s nothing but a warmed-over UNIX, and you’ll never be able to make it work on your machines. Don’t you understand that Steve doesn’t know anything about technology? He’s just a super salesman. I can’t believe you’re making such a stupid decision … He doesn’t know anything about engineering, and 99% of what he says and thinks is wrong. What the hell are you buying that garbage for?'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ea8576decad04cb1b000023″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-in-an-internal-email-steve-jobs-ability-to-focus-in-on-a-few-things-that-count-get-people-who-get-user-interface-right-and-market-things-as-revolutionary-are-amazing-things-7″
title=”Gates in an internal email: “Steve Jobs’ ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right, and market things as revolutionary are amazing things””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c7ea2d37f8b9aad04630100″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-again-internally-on-ipod-i-think-we-need-some-plan-to-prove-that-even-though-jobs-has-us-a-bit-flat-footed-again-we-can-move-quick-and-both-match-and-do-stuff-better-8″
title=”Gates again internally on iPod: “I think we need some plan to prove that, even though Jobs has us a bit flat footed again, we can move quick and both match and do stuff better.””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bf6df417f8b9a586d3f0200″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”at-the-d5-conference-gates-said-id-give-a-lot-to-have-steves-taste-9″
title=”At the D5 conference, Gates said: “I’d give a lot to have Steve’s taste””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ed010e96bb3f75f0c000029″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-on-the-ipad-its-a-nice-reader-but-theres-nothing-on-the-ipad-i-look-at-and-say-oh-i-wish-microsoft-had-done-it-10″
title=”Gates on the iPad: “It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec0aee16bb3f7571100002a”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-ultimate-take-on-microsoft-it-has-no-taste-11″
title=”Jobs’ ultimate take on Microsoft: It has no taste”
content=”‘The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste. I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ea8234469bedddf1e000050″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-on-closed-models-like-apple-the-integrated-approach-works-well-when-steve-is-at-the-helm-but-it-doesnt-mean-it-will-win-many-rounds-in-the-future-12″
title=”Gates on closed models like Apple: “The integrated approach works well when Steve is at the helm. But it doesn’t mean it will win many rounds in the future.””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eb821c7ecad04317a000028″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-on-the-open-model-of-course-his-fragmented-model-worked-but-it-didnt-make-really-great-products-it-produced-crappy-products-13″
title=”Jobs on the open model: “Of course, his fragmented model worked, but it didn’t make really great products. It produced crappy products.””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b5a0048000000000011d3f7″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-on-microsoft-today-theyve-clearly-fallen-from-their-dominance-theyve-become-mostly-irrelevant–i-dont-think-anything-will-change-at-microsoft-as-long-as-ballmer-is-running-it-14″
title=”Jobs on Microsoft today: “They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant … I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d59eafdccd1d5df2e070000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”jobs-closing-take-on-bill-gates-hes-a-businessman-not-a-product-guy-15″
title=”Jobs’ closing take on Bill Gates: He’s a businessman, not a product guy”
content=”‘Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s really not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he achieved it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end, if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built–it’s impressive–and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humour.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ecab01a6bb3f75f48000034″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gates-the-way-he-does-things-is-just-different-and-i-think-its-magical-16″
title=”Gates: “The way he does things is just different and I think it’s magical.””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e8cf0236bb3f7236800001f”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”after-the-book-came-out-gates-responded-to-jobs–17″
title=”After the book came out Gates responded to Jobs …”
content=”‘I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of [what he said] bothers me at all.’

He also said Jobs felt ‘beleaguered’ because Microsoft succeeded selling cheaper products than Apple and, ‘he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys,’ but Gates said, it was ‘very understandable.’

(See the clip of Gates speaking here)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eaeab35eab8eaa029000014″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”could-microsofts-business-fall-apart-18″
title=”Could Microsoft’s business fall apart?”
content=”STEVE BALLMER’S NIGHTMARE: How Microsoft’s Business Actually Could Collapse →
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e2880b74bd7c8c0340c0000″
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]