Monday, February 25, 2008

Bill Gates visit to Stanford - Tue 2/19/08

[Photo is by Megan McCarthy (or her photographer) at Wired]

Bill Gates showed a hilarious video clip imagining his upcoming last day in office. Wired said a similar video was shown at this year's CES, but this one had extra guest appearances - Venture Capitalist John Doerr and Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffet.

He carefully avoided mentioning any competitors (Yahoo, Google, etc...) and even went his entire speech without saying the word "Internet" until an audience member used "Internet" in a question, instead emphasizing the impact of "software" on the world. Very old-school! Brought back memories...

I started on 1960s-era mainframes, and it is interesting to see when the "software" buzzword transitioned into "Internet"". When I graduated college in 1986, a lot of us were trying to make money by selling "software". Then came the 1991 easy-to-use browser which blended Hypercard, pictures, and ARPANET...and Poof! Al Gore's "Information Superhighway" buzzword turned into the "Internet".

The 3-D medical imaging demo was neat to see, but he basically pitched some of the ideas of his Microsoft Research teams. Very "PC" speech giving nothing "cool away". He's a great businessman!

He spent the last 1/4 of his talk on giving back to the world, and most of the Q & A session was focused on "doing good."

Hadn't seen Bill for 10 years since visiting his house in 1998, when he had awesome flat-screens on the walls displaying artwork. I've been out of "Tech", and concentrating on non-profits in arts, dance, and spirituality for the past 6 years.

It was good to see him in person again.

- Mitchell Tsai (Harvard '86) - CEO, Spiritual Business Companions : FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Facebook

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