Over the years, tech industry heavyweights Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Pierre Omidyar, Shawn Fanning, Sergey Brin, and Mark Cuban all have sat down with 60 Minutes. One thing to remember, these interviews were conducted over several years, and situations have changed for some of these individuals and the companies they founded. Napster was forced to cease its file-sharing activity and has been sold and reshaped several times since. Google has been forced to grow up a bit since its early days, but is still ranked one of the best companies to work for by Fortune.
Still, this video montage exposes a few interesting things about some of the people who have shaped the tech industry and to a great extend the world.
I suggest you watch the whole video, but here are a few highlights:
- Bill Gates: Gates always thought taking tests in school was easy. "I always felt sorry for other people taking tests, because [the tests] were like, they were designed for me," Gates said.
- Jeff Bezos: Bezos made the decision to leave a career on Wall Street and start Amazon through what he calls a "regret minimization framework."
- Steve Jobs: Jobs' model for business is the Beatles. "They were four guys who kept each others' negative tendencies in check." Jobs said.
- Larry Ellison: Ellison is driven to succeed partly out of personal vanity. "A lot of what keeps me going, and keeps my drive is I'm curious as to how far I can go, how far Oracle can go. They are inextricably linked." Ellison said.
- Pierre Omidyar: Omidyar "whipped up some code" for eBay over the Labor Day weekend in 1995 and by Monday had the site up.
- Shawn Fanning: Napster was the first Windows application Fanning has written.
- Sergey Brin: "In order to have a good lifestyle, we had to have a good lifestyle at work," Brin said of Google's working environment.
- Mark Cuban: To pay for his education at Indiana University, Cuban gave disco lessons to local sorority houses for $25 an hour.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.