Originally Posted by Slurpy
You know, I've read everything there is to read about Jobs, and watched everything there is to watch about him. I've read what people who worked closely with him, and knew him better than message-board experts said about him. Yet, after all that, the word 'despicable person' to summarize him is not what comes to mind. He made mistakes- yes. So do we all. But I think it says quite a lot about you, that you're willing to throw this kind of vicious and conclusive judgement about his character. Get some damn perspective. I've met many people in my life who I would say are 10x more 'despicable' than Jobs could ever hope to be. Yet I still wouldn't define any of them as a 'despicable person'. That term, for me, is reserves for the purveyors of the most heinous crimes. In my experience, the people that throw these extreme definitions among people, are the ones who are far, far worse. I know alot obout Jobs. I don't know anything about you. Yet simply from your post, and the fact you can call someone like Steve Jobs summarily a 'despicable person' - tells me that I doubt you have the greatest character in the world. It takes a certain kind of person to throw this vitriol and viciousness towards someone with so many qualities. Jobs comes nowhere near that definition if you look at his life as a whole.
The drive, determination and focus that geniuses have almost always results in other character defaults. If you look at Picasso, Einstein or John Lennon, as just three examples, they contributed greatly to the world, but they frequently treated other people like crap which may, at least in part, be due to impatience with us "mere mortals". Those who tend to lead more balanced lives tend not to be the people who change the world. Even Ghandi and Martin Luther King had issues with their personal relationships.
The relationship between Jobs and Gates reminds me a bit of the relationship between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. In their competitive angst, they took terrible swipes at each other -- Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" being just one devastating example, but they claimed to have loved each other. But it was the competitive pressure between them that drove them both to great success.
I think Jobs had a lot of problems saying something nice about someone else if he didn't truly believe it - Jobs was known for saying exactly what he believed, regardless of the ramifications. Even when interviewed together, Jobs' praise for Gates was always qualified. In this particular case, Gates took the high road. I'm not sure Jobs would have done the same had the situation been reversed.