Walter Isaacson, former editor of Time Magazine, had over forty interviews with Steve Jobs over the years. He has recently released about two hours worth of recordings to the 60 Minutes staff for their upcoming special. In the interviews you can hear Steve Jobs’ views on Microsoft and Google.
Isaacson taped all of the interviews with the recluse, Jobs, and gleaned a large amount of biographical and opinionated information on the tech giant. Jobs’ complex life and his very personal quirks are vibrant, even though he normally avoided the limelight.
Graham Messick, 60 Minutes producer, draws our attention to the fact that most of the recordings were taken while on walks or in Jobs’ home. You can even hear the sounds of everyday life, like doors slamming, birds chirping, and kids playing.
Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes correspondent, has the privilege of interviewing Isaacson at his house in Georgetown. Kroft gets the scoop on Jobs’ rivals in Silicon Valley, and other modern giants. Isaacson reveals sides of Steve Jobs we have never known. He tells of the mentoring of Larry Page, Google CEO, and Jobs’ criticisms of both Microsoft and Google.
Isaacson says that he liked Steve Jobs as soon as he met him. He gave 60 Minutes over forty interviews, unorganized, but totaling about 2 hours of recordings. Jobs can be heard rambling on about life at times, but also about his intense feelings about his competitors and the industry itself.
“I’d say Microsoft and Google have a lot in common. Microsoft never had the Humanities and the Arts in the DNA. It’s pure technology company. And they just didn’t get it. Even when they saw the Mac they couldn’t even copy it well. How dumb do you have to be to not see it, once you see it? You know? But Google’s the same way. They just don’t get it.”
Steve Jobs had a fight over what he thought was Google stealing his operating system to make Android. Then Larry Page calls Steve, asking to come for some tips from him, because Larry was going to become the CEO of Google. Steve Jobs’ first reaction was defensive and he was ready to tell him to hit the road. However, on further reflection, Steve realized how much he had benefited from mentoring by giants of the likes of both Packard and Hewlett, among others in Silicon Valley.
Some of the advice Jobs gave Page was to focus on what he does best. He made a comparison to Microsoft who develops products all over the map and has no idea how to focus. He told Larry Page to discover the thing he is best at and do that with all his heart. His second piece of advice was that the CEO should not be too nice. Your goal is to get a team of the top players. He explained that this meant blowing off some people. Steve Jobs was trying to contribute back to the community of Silicon Valley from which he had benefited over the years in his rise to power and success.