I also appreciate this characterization's of Jobs' rant on Gates' supposed lack of imagination:
"Philanthropy on the scale that Gates practices it represents imagination at its grandest. In contrast, Jobs’s vision, brilliant and perfect as it was, was narrow. He was a tweaker to the last, endlessly refining the same territory he had claimed as a young man."
In the book "the logic of failure" by Dietrich Dorner, he presents simulation experiments with some disturbing results. In his simulations, people were tasked to better the lives of nomads with high mortality rates and tsetse fly infested cattle. This who first saw their mission as a humanitarian one - i.e. about fixing the health problems of nomads and their cattle - end up causing famines instead. Those who succeed manage to achieve a slow improvement in standard metrics.
I recommend that book to anyone who thinks solving the problems of a setup with many interdependent parts is a well understood thing or automatically apply thumb rules like "one problem at a time".
Couldn't it be the other way around? That he saw, as through looking at the Earth from space, his devices being shipped all the way around the world, knowing that any small imperfection or minor annoyance would be replicated millions of times over. In this perspective, a little sweat and tears and even going through dozens of iterations on the part of the inventor seems small compared to millions of man-hours of frustration around the globe.
> of Jobs' rant on Gates' supposed lack of imagination
google: Jobs on Gate no imagination
"Bill basically has no imagination and never find anything, that’s why I think he’s more comfortable this time on philanthropy rather than technological. He’s just shamelessly take others’ ideas,"
There's also another much older quote, which I think is an awesome one for Bill Gates:
"You're ripping us off!", Steve shouted, raising his voice even higher. "I trusted you, and now you're stealing from us!"
But Bill Gates just stood there coolly, looking Steve directly in the eye, before starting to speak in his squeaky voice.
"Well, Steve, I think there's more than one way of looking at it. I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it."
The main problem with that analogy is that Jobs bought that TV set from Xerox. Xerox freely let Apple see what they were working on with the understanding that Apple would use some of these ideas. In exchange for this, Xerox got to profit from the resulting increase in the stock price - they got a bunch of early Apple stock. The bulk of this transaction was aboveboard and mutually beneficial.
Microsoft didn't pay for Apple's info; they got access to it under a pretext and did not in return put Apple in a position to profit from what was used.
Here's what Andy Hertzfeld says about it:
Well, we had no formal relationship with PARC while we were developing the Mac. We got a single demo before the Mac project got off the ground, when the LISA project, that sort of cousin or bigger brother of the Mac, was in development. And so from that one demo we were already pointed in that direction but I would say that Xerox PARC demo galvanized and reinforced our strong opinion that the graphic user-interface was the way to go. And then the influence of PARC was strong in the project, but not through a formal relationship with PARC; more through PARC people getting wind of what we were doing and coming to work at Apple.
And note that Gates also visited Xerox PARC in the same time frame. And speaking of people leaving PARC to work at Apple -- Simonyi applied to Microsoft in 1981. Clearly he was fairly familiar with the work at PARC.
All this is to say that claiming that Apple had exlusive rights to the Xerox technology and everything Microsoft learned about it came from Apple is an absurd claim. Bill's quote is pretty accurate.
A legal transaction can still be considered stealing, and I think it's very easy to say that Xerox didn't realize what they were giving away. Now the thing is, when transacting with an entity like Xerox, it probably can't be considered criminal. :)
No, if you want to redeem the claim that Apple "stole" from Xerox you can't really do it based on the ideas that came out of those meetings.
The one thing Apple did that was vaguely disreputable is: they then hired away many of the key Xerox people. You can't say they "stole" the ideas but they did "steal" the employees. Not in the sense that it was illegal - employees have free will and freedom of contract and there was no non-compete clause - but that this went beyond what Xerox reasonably expected to come out of the transaction, so you can see how Xerox might have been miffed.
Short term Steve Job's model of doing things has worked out really well, but if it was allowed to continue (and grow) at the rate it was, it would have created a stagnant world where having a screen on a phone would be patented by Apple.
Tim Cook is an excellent choice for the next CEO and he will probably do very nicely at Apple; his changes are very welcome in my mind.
In fairness, I think he did both.
I disagree because Jobs/Apple looked at the xerox stuff and improved on it, drop down menus, overlapping windows etc. Whereas Microsoft just copied what Apple had done, bringing no new ideas to the table.
One account of the differences is here:
According to Bruce Horn:
"There is a significant difference between using the Mac and Smalltalk. [Xerox PARC Alto Workstation] Smalltalk has no Finder, and no need for one, really. Drag-and- drop file manipulation came from the Mac group, along with many other unique concepts: resources and dual-fork files for storing layout and international information apart from code; definition procedures; drag-and-drop system extension and configuration; types and creators for files; direct manipulation editing of document, disk, and application names; redundant typed data for the clipboard; multiple views of the file system; desk accessories; and control panels, among others.
The [Apple] Lisa group invented some fundamental concepts as well: pull down menus, the imaging and windowing models based on QuickDraw, the clipboard, and cleanly internationalizable software. The Mac and Lisa designers had to invent their own architectures."
To think of it, the article talks about the scale of Philanthropy of Gates in fields like Malaria eradication. This is a grande project, in it's entirety. There are no existing systems that work and Gates imagination of a possible solution cannot be ignored as is done by Jobs. This does make Jobs narrow minded in the way that he is considering only Technicalities and Design as imaginative and completely denying the imagination that might go into believing in a better (and in this case malaria free) future.