This morning I read an article by David Pouge of the NY Times. It was very interesting and I encourage you to read it Article Here. I enjoyed reading it and with the power of the internet, have the ability to tell the author what I think. Below is my response.
I just read your article on Bill Gates. I have to admit that like many I can be extremely cynical about Mr. Gates. I don't have 80 billion, or whatever the current amount is; I don't have 80 million. So like many, I distrust those that did and wonder how they made their money. I think you nailed it on the head when you said he was in his 50's and looking at not just the rest of his life but well beyond that time. He is wondering if the Gates will be thought of highly in the end, or if they will go down with some of American history's wealthy but not very nice personalities. I think it is true that everyone starts to do the same as they get up in years, no matter how good or bad they may have been. Just that most don't have the billions to do much about it other than great customers at Wal-Mart or tour the world taking snapshots of far off places.
It's a shame that many will look at Bill Gates and only see the ruthless businessman, I doubt that is all he is about. He played his game by his rules, and well his rules do seem to work. I don't like the way he thinks often, nor do I like the way his business is run most of the time; but it's hard to argue with success. I don't think the executives have a golden key to secret room in a deep and dark cavern in Redmond where they sold their soul to the devil. I think they are just harsh businessmen and women that made decisions I might not have made.
If, though, Mr. Gates can take that same ruthlessness to the halls of government around the world and slowly spend his money to pry open the doors of poverty and disease for all the world's people; then more power to him. Microsoft isn't going anywhere anytime soon and will probably be around when my grandkids are having grandkids. It may have been bought and sold 10 times by then and look nothing like the business Gates and Allen built; but who really cares but the investors, and they only care if hte company makes them money. Yet, if Gates can change the world in 100 years his name will not be associated with the company he founded, but instead associated with a world that my children and my children's children can readily enjoy with full stomachs and healthy bodies.
Maybe, just maybe, if Gates starts to make a new name for himself the other super wealthy will try very hard to spend their billions in attempting to one-up the master. Wouldn't that be a wonderful site, the world's wealthy trying to spend their money in the pursuit of a healthier, better world. I don't want them to go poor, or stop flying in private planes; but I wouldn't mind seeing them battle over being - The Best of the Best at Helping Mankind, instead of just being the Best of the Best at Making Money.
Great article Mr. Pogue, keep up the great work!
Oh, and I LOVE MY POWERBOOK... but man to I want the new MacBook Pro -- too bad I bought my Powerbook in November 2005. Ugh.
Long time reader,
Mr. Kelly M. Spore