Bill Gates praised the late Steve Jobs in an interview with CNN, and stated that Jobs was able to save Apple from dying and turn it into the world’s most valuable company.
“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 according to a transcript of the interview obtained by Bloomberg.
Gates said that he has not met anyone like Jobs who is able to ‘hyper-motivate’ talent, and be able to determine what is good and what isn’t in terms of design.
He spoke about the introduction of NeXt, which was a computer that Gates says “completely failed, it was such nonsense, and yet he mesmerized those people.” Apple bought NeXT in 1996.
Gates touched on how Jobs at times was an “asshole,” but that “he brought some incredibly positive things along with that toughness.”
He also reflected on Microsoft’s work culture in the 1970s, and admitted that the people in the company were tough on one another. He stated that this toughness would go too far sometimes.