Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Steve Jobs, who mentored Silicon Valley technology leaders in the months before he died, said he admired Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg for “not selling out.”
“We talk about social networks in the plural, but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there,” Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson in excerpts of an interview released online by “60 Minutes,” the CBS television show. “Just Facebook, they’re dominating this.”
“I admire Mark Zuckerberg,” Jobs said of Facebook’s chief executive officer on the recording. “I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that, a lot.”
Jobs, who co-founded Apple Inc. and died Oct. 5, told Isaacson his opinions of competitors such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and of his struggles with cancer. The biography, which goes on sale today, was based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs and was previewed on last night’s “60 Minutes.”
The book is on track to be the best-selling adult book of the year, said Mary Ellen Keating, a spokeswoman for retailer Barnes & Noble Inc., in an e-mail. The book is No. 1 on Amazon.com Inc.’s best-seller list and has been in the top 100 for 45 days due to pre-orders.
‘Don’t Get It’
Google, which competes with Apple in making operating systems for smartphones, had a lot in common with Microsoft, Jobs said. When Larry Page took over leadership of Google, Jobs told him to simplify the company, according to the book, purchased by Bloomberg.
“Microsoft never had the humanities and the liberal arts in the DNA; it was pure technology company, and they just didn’t get it,” Jobs said. “Google’s the same way. They just don’t get it.”
Jobs spoke at length about Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder who was a competitor for decades and, at times, a partner. He admired Gates for his success and influence. Still, the two men had fundamentally different views of the industry they helped create, Jobs said.
“Bill ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal then he achieved it,” Jobs said. “But it’s never been my goal, and I even wonder in the end if it was really his goal. I don’t know.”
Jobs had an unusual relationship with money, he said in interviews with Isaacson. He went from money not mattering because he was young and poor to money not mattering because he had more than he would ever need, shortly after the initial public offering of Apple.
Jobs kept a home on a normal street in Palo Alto, California, with a gate to the backyard often unlocked. He said he was determined to avoid the negative effects of money after seeing Apple employees get rich, buy Rolls Royces and get their wives plastic surgery, Isaacson said.
“I saw these people who were really nice, simple people turn into these bizarro people,” Jobs said in an audio recording. “And I made a promise to myself. I said: ‘I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.’”
Jobs, who died at age 56, told Isaacson he sometimes believed in God and sometimes felt life was more like an “on-off switch.”
“Click, and you’re gone,” Jobs said, according to Isaacson. “And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”
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