Why I Like Bill Gates

Here’s a good follow up to my musings about getting an apple lap top – something fairly / completely controversial.

I know there are at least 2 or 3 people that will not agree with me on this topic, but here are my reasons for liking Bill Gates:

  • He built a great company from nothing, pushing the limits on occasion, pushing his advantage at all times, to his maximum benefit.  In the process his company changed the face of business and personal life creating thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of balance sheet equity.
  • His company’s products allows the rest of us to create great software faster.  .Net is simply a terrific development infrastructure that has brought amazing levels of componentization to the development world.
  • As of 2007, he’s been a Chairman / CEO for close to 30 years.  He’s grown his company form 0 employees to over 70,000.  He’s taken it from a start up to a Fortune 50 company.  And he’s about to step down on his own timing.  Pretty amazing.
  • He’s giving his money away now as opposed to later.  He’s also doing it in a smart and business like manner via his philanthropic foundation.
  • He’s not afraid to try things and fail (Tablet PC).  He’s not afraid to copy ideas that work, make them cheaper, and bring them to larger markets (Xbox, Browser, etc.).
  • He’s about as humble as the wealthiest guy on the planet can be.  Can you rattle of the name and length of his boat, did you see an article in the WSJ about his soon to be completed private 747, or have you heard about his latest DUI arrest?  Didn’t think so.
  • He’s a great motivator because a huge portion of the technology world wants to be Bill, be like Bill, or simply beat Bill.  Jealously is a powerful motivator.

To be fair, I’ll post a few of the reasons why you might not like Bill Gates:

  • He looked like an insane man when being deposed during the anti-trust hearings.  Steady now, everyone has their bad days.
  • He was mean to Netscape.  And other companies.
  • He’s not as cool as Steve Jobs.
  • He never responded in a colorful manner to any of Scott McNealy’s colorful jabs and barbs.

So, do you like Bill Gates?  Let me know your thoughts.
Mike Brannan