According Bill Gates, who was once a business rival to Steve Jobs for some time, the former Apple founder and CEO was a “wizard” who would “cast spells on people” to help keep Apple Inc. alive during the period it was struggling. Gates further explained that Jobs was quite good at “casting spells” to keep employees motivated and working longer hours.
Gates revealed this during a segment on leadership on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
“I was like a minor wizard because he would be casting spells, and I would see people mesmerised, but because I’m a minor wizard, the spells don’t work on me. I have yet to meet any person who could rival Jobs in terms of picking talent, hyper-motivating that talent, and having a sense of design of, ‘Oh, this is good. This is not good,'” said Gates.
One of the examples of how Jobs could “cast spells” cited by Gates is how even when things were not going well, somehow Jobs would still manage to mesmerize. Gates makes an example of how in 1988, the NeXT computer designed by Jobs “completely failed” and didn’t manage to sell enough units yet somehow people were amazed at how good Jobs was.
“It was such nonsense, and yet he mesmerized those people,” said Gates.
From the interview it is clear that when Gates speaks of spells, he seems to be speaking figuratively and not in the practical sense of potions or crystals. Or is he?