This week on the Dan & David Show, we talk about the joint interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates that took place at the D: All Things Digital conference. It was mostly a reminiscence by the two industry legends (video/transcript), who paved the way for the personal computer revolution.
Jobs continues to toil away at Apple, trying to achieve product perfection and to dominate the post-PC market, as Gates has done on the desktop. The super-competitive Gates continues to drive strategy and seek to become number one in categories where Microsoft is behind (such as the Zune going after Apple's iPod market), but is focusing more on putting his great wealth to good use as he winds down his daily operational role at the company.
The two have been bitter rivals more than partners over the years, but seemed genuinely reflective, if not friendly, during the interview. As a journalist covering Apple and Microsoft for the last few decades, I have seen the arc of their careers.
What strikes me is how little they have changed since the early days--intense, focused, driven, relentless, smart, impatient, Armani-less and hating to be wrong about anything. Yet, their personalities are quite different, which has impacted where they have ended up after nearly 40 years in the business. Gates, the proto-software nerd and sometimes rapacious businessman, built an empire. Jobs, the artist who Gates envies for his "taste," built a cult.
In the interview they were true to form, with Jobs quick to deliver the pithy repostes, and Gates sometimes "wandering into thickets of technical minutiae," as Scott Rosenberg described in his post.
Following is a Gates reflection on his parallel path with Jobs: "... it’s been fun to work together. I actually kind of miss some of the people who aren’t around anymore. You know, people come and go in this industry. It’s nice when somebody sticks around and they have some context of all the things that have worked and not worked. The industry gets all crazy about some new thing, you know, like, there’s always this paradigm of the company that’s successful is going to go away and stuff like that. It’s nice to have people seeing the waves and waves of that and yet, when it counted, to take the risk to bring in something new."
Here's how Jobs summed up the last 30 years: "...I sort of look at us as two of the luckiest guys on the planet because we found what we loved to do and we were at the right place at the right time and we’ve gotten to go to work every day with super bright people for 30 years and do what we love doing."
On the show, we also chat about whether the iTunes/EMI DRM-free music is really DRM-free, the impact of Google Gears (which lets Web apps live offline) and what YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, Viacom CEO and President Phillipe Dauman and Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to say about copyright issues and the $1 billion suit Viacom filed against YouTube.
This podcast can be delivered directly to your desktop or MP3 player if you're subscribed to our podcasts (See ZDNet's podcasts: How to tune in). For more the topics covered during the show, search our blog.