The 60 Minutes interview with Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson is up on the web, but one of the most interesting parts is an outtake that didn’t make it into the televised segment. In it, we hear Steve Jobs talking about his rivals directly from some of Isaacson’s taped interviews. While Jobs was withering in his assessment of Google and Microsoft, he expressed respect for Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“We talk about social networks in the plural,” Jobs told Isaacson, “but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. Just Facebook, They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg . . . for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”
He doesn’t have such nice things to say about Google or Microsoft. He was angry at Google for what he saw as its attempt to copy the iPhone with Android. But when Larry Page became CEO Jobs agreed to meet with him to give him some advice: Don’t be like Microsoft with products all over the map, focus. And don’t try to be too nice as a CEO.
Jobs’ relationship with Bill Gates goes back the furthest and is the most complicated. But the two pioneers of the PC era met one last time near the end of Jobs’ life and talked for several hours. Gates told Jobs that he proved his model—of controlling computer products from end to end—works. And Jobs said that Microsoft’s model of licensing out the OS to other manufacturers worked as well.
Only later did Gates relate to Isaacson: “What I didn’t tell Steve is that it only works when you have a Steve Jobs.” When Isaacson asked Jobs if he really thought the Microsoft model works, Jobs replied: “Yeah, it works, but only if you don’t mind making crappy products.”