Bill Gates claims that technology companies “deserve” the scrutiny they got last month at the Congressional hearings, and he assured Armchair Expert podcast that late Steve Jobs was a been “genius.”
“If you’re as successful as I am or any of those people are, you deserve rude, unfair, tough questions,” said the Microsoft founder told Dax Shepard. ” The government deserves to have shots at you,” said Gates. ” That type of grilling comes with the super successful territory. It’s fine.”
Gates was referring to the House of Judiciary committee’s July 29th meeting, in an ongoing antitrust inquiry which questioned the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon regarding its market practices.
Gates spoke about his foundation’s research on vaccines and what it was like to launch Microsoft, but he also spoke about trying to be successful of sorts; he claims it took some time for technology pioneers to become prominent in mainstream culture. “It was crazy because I was nerdy and not very sociable, then to be rocket-shipped into this realm of ‘what does he say about this, what does he say about that, what he says is semi-interesting’ was like, whoa, what happened.”
Gates claimed that he was not as “tough” as Steve Jobs was with his late opponent, but that he respected how Jobs transformed Apple as he returned to the business.
“Jobs was a genius, what he did, particularly when he came back to Apple… no one else could do what he did there. I could not have done that. He was such a wizard at over-motivating people— I was a minor wizard so I couldn’t fall under his spell— but I could see him casting the spell,” Gates joked. “I was so jealous.”
Gates has spoken on what he considers to be some of his greatest shortcomings. ” I’m not that great socially, I don’t know how to cook and I’m very embarrassed I don’t speak any [other] languages fluently,” he said.
The Armchair Expert podcast is a geeky fan style, but this format just helped Gates get comfortable. For example, he claims he meditates using Headscape and that he’s a big fan of the movie Spy Game.