Sunday, June 03, 2007

Interview of Interest: Two of the Luckiest Guys on the Planet ...

... because they found what they love to do.

What's this? Talking up men on the Women Presidents' Organization Chicago blog? You bet. In case you missed it, this weekend (6/2) the WSJ ran a great interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates about how they paved the way for the personal computer revolution. Here's the question that was asked by the audience that I learned the most from:
You approached the same opportunity so very differently. What did you learn about running your own business that you wished you had thought of sooner or thought of first by watching the other guy?

Mr. Gates: I'd give a lot to have Steve's taste -- in terms of intuitive taste, both for people and products. We sat in Mac product reviews where there were questions about software choices, how things would be done, that I viewed as an engineering question -- that's just how my my mind works. And I'd see Steve make the decision based on a sense of people and product that is even hard for me to explain. The way he does things is just different, and I think it's magical.

Mr. Jobs:
Because Woz and I started the company based on doing the whole banana, we weren't so good at partnering with people. And, you know, actually, the funny thing is, Microsoft's one of the few companies we were able to partner with that actually worked for both companies. And we weren't so good at that, where Bill and Microsoft were really good at it because they didn't make the whole thing in the early days, and they learned how to partner with people really well.

And I think if Apple could have had a little more of that in its DNA, it would have served it extremely well. And I don't think Apple learned that until a few decades later.
In looking back, what do you wish that you would have thought of sooner and taken action on? Do you feel like the luckiest gal on the planet?

Read more here including another interview, a podcast, other blog entries and transcripts from their talk.

Shortcut: Straight to The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital executive conference.

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