Teary-eyed Bill Gates recounts final visit with Steve Jobs (with video)

“We’ve seen plenty of Bill Gates on television, but we’d never seen him get emotional before,” CBS News reports. “It was a striking, yet subtle moment in Gates’ 60 Minutes interview this week when Charlie Rose asked him about his longtime business rival, the late Steve Jobs. Gates grew emotional as he recalled visiting Jobs just before his death. The billionaire welled up as he described their last conversation, which he described as ‘forward-looking.’

“‘He showed me the boat he was working on,’ said Gates, ‘and talked about how he’s looking forward to being on it, even though we both knew there was a good chance that wouldn’t happen,'” CBS News reports. “‘He and I, in a sense, grew up together,’ explained Gates. ‘We were within a year of the same age, and we were kind of naively optimistic and built big companies. And every fantasy we had about creating products and learning new things– we achieved all of it. And most of it as rivals. But we always retained a certain respect and communication, including even when he was sick.'”

See the full conversation — including Gates’ “tell him I’m an asshole” story — in this week’s 60 Minutes Overtime feature:

Direct link to video here.

26 Comments

  1. Bill Gates is a very smart man. I have read his book. But the think that I think is different is that Steve Jobs had the life experience to ask….. Why am I doing this? And the answer was money at first…. then it changed…. Like any artist, he wanted make something GREAT. Something that lasted and changed lives.

    Bill Gates never seemed to get past the focus on the money. Even now that he is doing good things, his focuses on the money. His money.

    1. I’m not certain Steve focused just on money at first. I have no doubt money was ever on his mind. But my sense of his early work was that he wanted publicly loved and appreciated work right from the start. Of course that had something to do with his personal insecurities. But he translated that into a public sense of quality and, despite his Producer personality, a public relationship between creators and customers that relished and celebrated quality. 😀

      1. To be fair, their charitable work is not always down without criticism. They often take political positions (ask Zuckerburg what he has learned about that in the last week) Case in point: education. Their education ideas are typical, outside looking in, we have all the answers type solutions that DO NOT work.

        Investments
        The foundation invests the assets that it has not yet distributed, with the exclusive goal of maximizing the return on investment. As a result, its investments include companies that have been criticized for worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the Foundation is attempting to relieve poverty. These include companies that pollute heavily and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world. In response to press criticism, the foundation announced in 2007 a review of its investments to assess social responsibility. It subsequently cancelled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices. Here is a sample of the criticism their charitable work has received…

        Diversion of health care resources
        The Foundation has donated millions of dollars to help sufferers of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, a Los Angeles Times investigation claimed there were three major problems with the foundation’s allocation of aid. First, “by pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers as AIDS, Gates guarantees have increased the demand for specially trained, higher-paid clinicians, diverting staff from basic care.” This form of “brain drain”, pulls away trained staff from children and those suffering from other common killers. Second, “the focus on a few diseases has shortchanged basic needs such as nutrition and transportation….” Finally, “Gates-funded vaccination programs have instructed caregivers to ignore – even discourage patients from discussing – ailments that the vaccinations cannot prevent.”
        In a January/February 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Laurie Garrett claims that many charitable organizations, among whom the Gates Foundation is prominent, harm global health by diverting resources from other important local health care services. For example, by paying relatively high salaries at AIDS clinics, the foundation diverts medical professionals from other parts of developing nations’ health care systems; the health care systems’ ability to provide care diminishes (except in the area the foundation funds) and the charities may do more harm than good. Similar findings were reported in a December 2007 Los Angeles Times investigation.

        Education Reform
        The public school reform program of the Gates Foundation has come under criticism by education professionals, parents, and researchers for promoting reforms that they see as undermining public education. The reforms include closing neighborhood schools in favor of privately run charter schools; using standardized test scores extensively to evaluate students, teachers, and schools; and merit pay for teachers based on test scores. Critics also believe that the Gates Foundation exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable to voters or tax payers.
        Grantee Communication
        The Gates Foundation has been roundly criticized for failing to communicate efficiently and effectively with its grantees, dating back to a 2008 survey report that was not released to the public as well as a 2010 “Grantee Perception Report”, which painted a similarly bleak picture of grantee attitudes beliefs, and knowledge about its grantmaking activities among grantees. The Gates Foundation’s September 2012 Grantee Progress Report echoes similar themes of inadequate and ineffective communication with grantees, including significant effort duplication. To address these criticisms and improve communication with its grantees, the Gates Foundation launched a podcast series, an e-mail newsletter to grantees, and has funded the Center for Effective Philanthropy to support improved grantee perception and communication.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Education_Reform

        1. Excellent points. Thanks for the research. I can also make the usual point that they shove Windows related technology down people’s throats as part of their ‘philanthropy’. I of course consider such acts to be extremely detrimental. We are in the midst of an Internet security catastrophe specifically because of the crap, no-security code written and perpetuated in Windows and Office. I don’t mean to exclude finger pointing at Adobe and Oracle and others as well. But good luck getting the ignorami, of whom there are vast numbers, off their Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle addictions.

          1. A lot of humanitarian donations and funding have strings attached. Post-disaster recovery money sometimes must be used only on equipment and companies/services from the donor country. Help from certain organizations for women in developing countries forbid mention or use of even as ethically unambiguous as barrier contraception.

            So, while I’m not giving the Gates foundation a pass for pushing Microsoft solutions, I also wouldn’t get hung up on that particular point.

      2. What kind of nonsense is this. Everyone who gets into a business focuses on money. If you don’t believe so well start a business without focusing on money and see where you end up.

    1. Tears of a man who realizes his limited abilities (which the world has given him far too much credit for). He was never gonna be Steve Jobs and the world needs more Steve Jobs far more than it needs a Bill Gates.

        1. To be fair, their charitable work is not always down without criticism. They often take political positions (ask Zuckerburg what he has learned about that in the last week) Case in point: education. Their education ideas are typical, outside looking in, we have all the answers type solutions that DO NOT work.

          Investments
          The foundation invests the assets that it has not yet distributed, with the exclusive goal of maximizing the return on investment. As a result, its investments include companies that have been criticized for worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the Foundation is attempting to relieve poverty. These include companies that pollute heavily and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world. In response to press criticism, the foundation announced in 2007 a review of its investments to assess social responsibility. It subsequently cancelled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices. Here is a sample of the criticism their charitable work has received…

          Diversion of health care resources
          The Foundation has donated millions of dollars to help sufferers of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, a Los Angeles Times investigation claimed there were three major problems with the foundation’s allocation of aid. First, “by pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers as AIDS, Gates guarantees have increased the demand for specially trained, higher-paid clinicians, diverting staff from basic care.” This form of “brain drain”, pulls away trained staff from children and those suffering from other common killers. Second, “the focus on a few diseases has shortchanged basic needs such as nutrition and transportation….” Finally, “Gates-funded vaccination programs have instructed caregivers to ignore – even discourage patients from discussing – ailments that the vaccinations cannot prevent.”
          In a January/February 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Laurie Garrett claims that many charitable organizations, among whom the Gates Foundation is prominent, harm global health by diverting resources from other important local health care services. For example, by paying relatively high salaries at AIDS clinics, the foundation diverts medical professionals from other parts of developing nations’ health care systems; the health care systems’ ability to provide care diminishes (except in the area the foundation funds) and the charities may do more harm than good. Similar findings were reported in a December 2007 Los Angeles Times investigation.

          Education Reform
          The public school reform program of the Gates Foundation has come under criticism by education professionals, parents, and researchers for promoting reforms that they see as undermining public education. The reforms include closing neighborhood schools in favor of privately run charter schools; using standardized test scores extensively to evaluate students, teachers, and schools; and merit pay for teachers based on test scores. Critics also believe that the Gates Foundation exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable to voters or tax payers.
          Grantee Communication
          The Gates Foundation has been roundly criticized for failing to communicate efficiently and effectively with its grantees, dating back to a 2008 survey report that was not released to the public as well as a 2010 “Grantee Perception Report”, which painted a similarly bleak picture of grantee attitudes beliefs, and knowledge about its grantmaking activities among grantees. The Gates Foundation’s September 2012 Grantee Progress Report echoes similar themes of inadequate and ineffective communication with grantees, including significant effort duplication. To address these criticisms and improve communication with its grantees, the Gates Foundation launched a podcast series, an e-mail newsletter to grantees, and has funded the Center for Effective Philanthropy to support improved grantee perception and communication.

  2. The difference between Bill Gates & Steve Jobs is Bill cared for the quality of the contract binding Microsoft to its hardware vendor (IBM initially) and Microsoft to its customers (enterprise sales licenses) than the quality of their software (anaemically bad). Steve cared for his customers and wouldn’t tolerate shoddy hardware or software. Steve would rather not ship shoddy stuff than ship below par stuff in the name of a quick buck.

    Steve cared for his customers. Bill cared for the almighty dollar.

    I don’t hate Bill. I think he showed humanity in recalling his time spent with Steve. But that, essentially, is what separates Microsoft from Apple. Microsoft is a peddler of shoddy software.

  3. REVENGE: Seeing as this article is Microsoft related, be sure to watch the two episode season 2 finalé of the ABC program ‘Revenge’. Count how many times the featured Windows phones lose connections. It’s several! Then watch the coup de grace as one of the characters STOMPS on his Windows phone and crushes it to pieces. IOW: Someone working on the show got revenge on Microsoft. BWAHAHAHA! 😈

    1. And of course, despite the slightly chummy public relationship, Steve Jobs deftly countered Bill Gate’s refusal to return QuickTime code Microsoft had stolen from a third party developer. Steve handled it brilliantly and said nothing about the settlement he had coerced from Gates. Instead, Steve made it into an opportunity to bind the two companies closer together.

      1) Microsoft had to invest $150 million in non-voting Apple stock for 5 years. (Keep in mind that Apple had nearly $4 billion in the bank at that time, meaning that Microsoft bailed out no one).

      2) Microsoft had to contract to provide Office for Mac for 5 years.

      3) Gates had to appear on a BIG BROTHER screen at the upcoming MacWorld and accept the inevitable analogy and derision, one of the nastiest, subtle pieces of revenge I’ve ever seen.

      4) Apple and Microsoft contracted to share code with one another, ending the espionage game playing between them.

      5) Some other odd or end I always forget. Does anyone remember? I might later…

      IOW: What a fascinating relationship. I couldn’t call it exactly friendship. But the two certainly were intertwined, for better and for worse.

  4. Steve whined to Gates’ secretary that he was an asshole. Yeah, right … well now he is a dead asshole. Uppity piece of shit was a child abandoner. Got exactly what was coming to him. Adios you stupid fuck.

    1. Wow anonymous coward ‘x’. What exactly do you offer or condone that isn’t exactly what you are pretending to condemn? At least I can agree that there is that of an ‘asshole’ in everyone, just as there is that of ‘god’ in everyone. Steve Jobs was no exception.

      I also concur with peterblood71 that you will get what you give, exactly what’s coming to you. Use it as an opportunity to make the choice to learn and better yourself. Steve Jobs certainly did.

  5. I know how Bill felt about Steve. The age difference between me and Steve was closer. He was older than me by 2 months and 4 days. I always felt attached to him and Apple in ways I can’t described even though I never had the pleasure to meet him. When he passed on, it was kind of ironic. I was in the hospital myself. was recovering from a heart transplant. When I heard the news about his death I was just devastated. I broke down and just could not stop crying. I felt I lost a great friend. I will never forget him. He always gave me what I wanted in technology. RIP Steve.

  6. Hm, an interview with a guy who interviewed Bill Gates. Can’t wait for the interview with the woman who interviewed the guy who interviewed Bill Gates.

  7. While we’re on the topic of Microsoft, here’s another joyful bit of news, courtesy of the vulgar chaps at The Register:

    Windows 8 ‘sales’ barely half as good as Microsoft claims
    Don’t even mention the XP/Vista sales comparisons

    Microsoft claimed last week that it’s made ‘100 million’ Windows 8 sales and the claim has been widely repeated. But channel feedback and the experience on the ground point to a very different picture.

    The Guardian’s Charles Arthur has made a stab at estimating the true figure, and suggests it’s much less, at between 57 million and 59 million machines running Redmond’s latest OS.

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