Apple’s Steve Jobs has always been accused of generating a Reality Distortion Field which sucked consumers into his technology vision and hid the flaws of his products long enough for him to fix it.
It seems instead of alien technology ex-Microsoft CEO and archrival of Apple felt the secret was rather more magical. Speaking to CNN Gates said Steve Jobs used his magical powers to take a company “on a path to die” and turn it into the world’s most valuable — in part by “casting spells.”
He cited NeXT computers, a failed venture by Jobs which was purchased by Apple in 1996, as an example of Jobs mesmerizing people with a poor product and succeeding even when he failed.
He said NeXT “completely failed, it was such nonsense, and yet he mesmerized those people.”
In a somewhat cringe-worthy comment Gates, however, said he was immune to Steve’s powers, as he himself was a “minor wizard.”
“I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerized, but because I’m a minor wizard, the spells don’t work on me,” said Gates.
He did attribute some of Jobs’s success to real managerial talent, however.
“I have yet to meet any person who” could rival Jobs “in terms of picking talent, hyper-motivating that talent, and having a sense of design of, ‘Oh, this is good. This is not good,’ ”
He, however, warned people against blindly following Jobs’s example.
He called Jobs an “asshole” at times and said it was easy for leaders to “imitate the bad parts of Steve,” but noted that Jobs“brought some incredibly positive things along with that toughness.”
Steve Jobs is known for example for not acknowledging his illegitimate daughter or giving much to charity, and firing people at will.
Speaking of his own early days at Microsoft, he noted they were “a self-selected set of people who were mostly males, I’ll admit, and yes we were pretty tough on each other. And I think sometimes that went too far.”
Now retired, he said he had mellowed a bit but still had a tendency to micromanage even his charity work.
“I’m still clear about, ‘Hey, that toilet design’s too expensive. It’s a dead end. We’re not going to put more money into that,”’ Gates said.