Steve Jobs and Bill Gates meet yesterday for a joint interview at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference. The excerpts are fascinating to read [subscription required].
Given all the public bickering and bad blood it is interesting to read about the extent to which Apple and Microsoft cooperated in the early days, and still do.
When they were both asked what they wished they had learned earlier from the other, Jobs’ said:
You know, 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, you know, a few decades later.
Here you have the leader of one of the most notorious “do-it-all-ourselves” companies recognizing that partnering earlier could’ve helped.
[some excerpts are available without subscription but not the Jobs quote above.]