Last night was the night for the Bill Gates-Steve Jobs joint interview at the D5 conference and not unexpectedly it turned out to be a love-in between the two industry pioneers:
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs wasted no time in their much-anticipated joint performance at D in trying to one-up each other — with compliments.
“Bill built the first software company in the industry. And I think he built the first software company before anybody in our industry knew what a software company was,” said Mr. Jobs.
“What Steve’s done is quite phenomenal,” Mr. Gates responded, going on to comment on the “incredible taste and elegance” with which Apple’s Mr. Jobs has pursued new products. “His ability to always come around and figure out where that next bet should be has been phenomenal.”
And with that, they were off: Reminiscing about the glory days of early computer programming, 16K operating systems, and storing data on tape drives — all the while finishing each other’s sentences, grinning from ear to ear and occasionally interrupting to heap on more praise.
I thought it was great to see two real pros and industry pioneers in action without a script. A summary and the videos are available from John Paczkowski at the D5 site, but the real sentimental moment comes in part 6 of the video which concludes with a standing ovation from the audience. Yes, it is hard to believe that Gates and Jobs are these days often the oldest persons in the room.