Bill Gates reveals the one thing his tech 'rival,' the late Steve Jobs, was always better at - enthralling an audience
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates embody a rivalry that has gone on in the tech world for the last 40 years: Apple vs. Microsoft.
- Despite their differences, Gates has always been envious of Jobs's ability to captivate an audience.
- In a September 2019 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gates said "I wish I could be as magical" as Jobs was, when it comes to public speaking.
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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs embody a rivalry that has gone on in the tech world for the last four decades: Microsoft vs. Apple.
Microsoft cofounder Gates was the technical one. But Jobs, who cofounded Apple, was the stylish one. That dichotomy came through in their products: PCs have always been praised for their versatility and power, while Apple products are beloved for their carefully crafted lines.
Despite their differences, however, Jobs had one thing Gates admits he never did: the power to captivate an audience.In a September 2019 interview with the Wall Street Journal ahead of the upcoming Netflix documentary series about his life, Gates discussed topics ranging from his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the charity organization he runs with his wife, Melinda), to Microsoft's legal history, to what he admired about his late tech rival.
While Gates had the technical know-how to turn Microsoft into what is now a trillion-dollar company, he knew he wasn't a born entertainer.
"I myself am not a preacher," Gates told the Journal. "I've learned a little bit about public speaking, and how to articulate how to solve these problems over time. I've gotten OK on that in a certain sense."
Jobs, meanwhile, could enthrall an audience year after year with his famous Apple keynote speeches.
Those speeches unveiled gadgets like the MacBook, iPod, and iPhone, becoming unforgettable events in and of themselves.after being ousted from Apple in 1985, brought about projects like NeXT Computer, a $12 million failed attempt at computers for higher education.
"Steve Jobs was always more of a natural at [public speaking]," Gates said. "He could talk about what, in the case of NeXT Computer, was not that good of a machine, yet mesmerize people to death if they happened to be in the auditorium."
Gates stepped down as Microsoft's CEO 19 years ago to pursue other, more philanthropic projects, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Of course, even though Jobs's knack for public speaking looked effortless, it wasn't. According to the book "Becoming Steve Jobs" by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, Jobs would spend hours rehearsing his keynote speeches around the house in a trance-like state. His wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, told the book's authors he even read entire speeches at the dinner table.
"I wish I could be as magical because I have causes that are in some ways more impactful and I need to make sure they don't get ignored," Gates said, referring to his work towards solving global issues.
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