If we talk about the average billionaires, then privacy is something that they strive for. While some of them make a couple of public appearances every now and then, a very small minority tends to be in the media spotlight. One amongst them is Bill Gates, who is well known for being the richest man in the world, apart from his philanthropic ventures.
Especially after stepping down as the CEO of Microsoft, Gates has become more open to the world. He is now more like a celebrity cum businessman who commands a decent fan following across social media. As one would rarely find Amancio Ortega, (net worth $ 71 billion USD) or Ma Huateng (net worth: 45 billion USD) giving interviews, there is Mr. Gates, who goes one step further. To address his fans, Gates has not just limited himself to regular interviews, rather he has even opted for platforms like Reddit (a social news aggregation site), Facebook etc.
There were many questions that he answered, however, we have chosen the top 4, which were quite interesting.
# Advice to Young Bill Gates: On being asked about the advice he would give to his younger self, Gates replied “I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then. I would say you might explore the developing world before you get into your forties. I wasn’t very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that – maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up….”
# Limitation to money when it comes to philanthropy: Regarding the question, he replied “Philanthropy is small as a part of the overall economy so it can’t do things like fund health care or education for everyone. Government and the private sector are the big players so philanthropy has to be more innovative and fund pilot programs to help the other sectors. A good example is funding new medicines or charter schools where non-obvious approaches might provide the best solution.” Further, he added “One thing that is a challenge for our Foundation is that poor countries often have weak governance – small budgets, and the people in the ministries don’t have much training. This makes it harder to get things done. If we had more money we could do more good things – even though we are the biggest foundation we are still resourced limited.”
# Importance of “curiosity” as a personal quality: Almost all the successful people have one thing in common that is curiosity, which forces them to learn new thing even when they are on the top. To answer the user, Gates wrote “I think having parents and teachers reinforce your curiosity and explain what they are fascinated with makes a big difference. A lot of people lose their curiosity as they get older which is a shame. One thing that helps nowadays is that if you get confused about something it is easier than ever to find an article or video to make things clear.”
When other user asked him about the thing that he is most curious about, he further added “I still find the creation of life and the way the brain works the most fascinating areas. Nick Lane has some great books exploring what we know about how life started. It is amazing how little we know about the brain still but I expect we will know a lot more in 10 years.”
# Did you copy Steve Jobs or did he copy you? Well, this one is an age-old question. Most of the people know how issues between Steve Jobs and Gates escalated once Jobs came to know about Windows. So this time one user again asked this famous question to Bill. The billionaire replied, “The main “copying” that went on relative to Steve and me is that we both benefited from the work that Xerox Parc did in creating graphical interface – it wasn’t just them but they did the best work. Steve hired Bob Belville, I hired Charles Simonyi. We didn’t violate any IP rights Xerox had but their work showed the way that led to the Mac and Windows.”