Walt: Before we get started, there were some pioneers–of course, we have the pioneers here on the stage, but there were some other really important pioneers in the video we just saw and a couple of them are here in the audience. Mitch Kapor, who is a regular, could you just stand up, wherever you are? There he is.
Walt: And Fred Gibbons,who has not come to D before, but is here tonight. Fred. There’s Fred right there.
Walt: And I don’t know if he’s in the room, but I do want to recognize our fellow journalist, Brent Schlender from Fortune, who, to my knowledge, did the last joint interview these guys did. It was not onstage, but it was Fortune magazine. Brent, I don’t know if you’re in the room. If you are, can youstand? Maybe he’s way over there.
Kara: So let’s get started. I wanted to ask, there’s been a lot of mano-a-mano/catfight kind of thing in a lot of the blogs and the press and stuff like that, and we wanted to–the first question I was interested in asking is what you think each has contributed to the computer and technology industry, starting with you, Steve, for Bill, and vice versa.Steve: Well, you know, Bill built the first software company in the industry and I think he built the first software company before anybody really in our industry knew what a software company was, except for these guys. And that was huge. That was really huge. And the business model that they ended up pursuing turned out to be the one that worked really well, you know, for the industry. I think thebiggest thing was, Bill was really focused on software before almost anybody else had a clue that it was really the software.
Kara: Was important?
Steve: That’s what I see. I mean, a lot of other things you could say, but that’s the high order bit. And I think building a company’s really hard, and it requires your greatest persuasive abilities to hire the best people you can and keep them atyour company and keep them working, doing the best work of their lives, hopefully. And Bill’s been able to stay with it for all these years.
Walt: Bill, how about the contribution of Steve and Apple?
Bill: Well, first, I want to clarify: I’m not Fake Steve Jobs.
What Steve’s done is quite phenomenal, and if you look back to 1977, that Apple II computer, the idea that it would be a mass-marketmachine, you know, the bet that was made there by Apple uniquely–there were other people with products, but the idea that this could be an incredible empowering phenomenon, Apple pursued that dream.
Then one of the most fun things we did was the Macintosh and that was so risky. People may not remember that Apple really bet the company. Lisa hadn’t done that well, and some people were saying thatgeneral approach wasn’t good, but the team that Steve built even within the company to pursue that, even some days it felt a little ahead of its time–I don’t know if you remember that Twiggy disk drive and…
Steve: One hundred twenty-eight K.
Kara: Oh, the Twiggy disk drive, yes.
Bill: Steve gave a speech once, which is one of my favorites, where he talked about, in a certain sense, we build theproducts that we want to use ourselves. And so he’s really pursued that with incredible taste and elegance that has had a huge impact on the industry. And his ability to always come around and figure out where that next bet should be has been phenomenal. Apple literally was failing when Steve went back and re-infused the innovation and risk-taking that have been phenomenal. So the industry’sbenefited immensely from his work. We’ve both been lucky to be part of it, but I’d say he’s contributed as much as anyone.
Steve: We’ve also both been incredibly lucky to have had great partners that we started the companies with and we’ve attracted great people. I mean, so everything that’s been done at Microsoft and at Apple has been done by just remarkable people, none of which are sitting up here...