Sunday, June 29, 2008

He Bill(t) this city

So, William Henry Gates III the baby faced 52 year old 'king of the nerds' clocks off from his full time gig as Chairman of Microsoft and there are as many people saluting as giving him the 'bird'.

Ok so I understand the criticims of him being a techy monopolist but surely for those moving in business circles, this is the departure of the greatest business success story of the modern age? Bill Gates must be the tallest poppy we've ever known but something tells me he isn't going home and crying into his tv dinner over school yard jibes.

This is the guy who said We've got to put a lot of money into changing behavior. A big tick on Bills scorecard for that. With a company vision of 'a computer on every desk in every home' this would have seemed a rediculous statement when he first made it some 30 years ago and you can be sure this is still a huge way off, but to think you can get send emails from remote islands in Thailand or visit a Microsoft digital literacy centre in Limpopo, Africa, surely hats off to Billy boy for these incredible examples of a flattening world.

Can a man who has used his vast accumulation of billions to help try to rid the world of devastating diseases and poverty really be such a bad guy? Since 2000 The Gates Foundation has commited US $16.5b dollars to help democratise health. Sure, its a big call to suggest being able to wipe out a disease like malaria but if no one ever suggests it or works towards these efforts, it's even less likely to ever happen.

Anyway, all seriousness aside, a man who makes a farewell video like this has got to be alright. Check it out .


RobPyne said...

So is that a Bill Gates double in the video or what? Anyway whilst Bill Gates obviously has done brilliantly, I am not sure Micorsoft has been that brave of late, they have certainly missed some key innovations and owe their market dominance more to brute force and copycatting than cleverness / creativity. Apple and Linux have one over on them for actually creating good products. So maybe what we take out is that business is about more than the quality of your product - and monopoly is a very nice word.

Sophie said...

Well he's definitely brave to have made such a self-deprecating farewell video: even though it's a little obvious in its humour, you can't help but laugh. It's good to see someone at the top of the pile not taking himself too seriously. Man, he's got skinny arms though!

David Chait said...

spain1973A hilarious send-off, demonstrating you can be as rich as crecius, but still have a sense of humour. Also reaffirms the currency of celebrity business personalities (Bill Gates, Richard Branson etc) to give equity for the brand and its products. Would the Global VP of Linux ever get the same kind of Hollywood celebrity send off?