The face of Microsoft and a man now worth $92.3 billion, Bill Gates has a lot to teach us about hard work, success, kindness, unkindness, ruthlessness, tenacity, intelligence, and philanthropy – more so than might be apparent from looking at the easygoing, oft-smiling Gates. For under that geeky and very unintimidating exterior lies a cunning businessman, a cutthroat competitor, and an arrogant genius set on doing anything for success. Now, while Apple may be ahead of Microsoft in valuation and popularity, and even though Windows phones aren’t winning any Global Mobile Awards in the “Best Device” category, Gates has left quite an impression on the tech world and consumers alike – even for those who are diehard iOS or Android users, the types who favor Macs over PCs, and the now more numerous quantities of people who favor Chrome or Firefox over the now meme-worthy Internet Explorer.
So, why write this? Bill Gates hasn’t been the CEO of Microsoft for years and the chairman for more than four. He is very active in philanthropy, but at this point, he has largely embraced retirement over working. And who can blame the guy? He could have retired years ago, but he chose to keep working on fortifying his technological empire as well as devoting more time to charity work. Again, if anyone deserves full retirement, it is Bill Gates. But now that Gates has taken a lesser role and has transitioned away from the spotlight, it’s as good a time as any to commemorate all that he has accomplished, and what lessons he can teach us about success and a life well lived. Now is as good a time as any to try and understand how a geeky kid (said with the utmost respect) from Seattle became such an ambitious and bold revolutionary in the tech world. I will do so by pointing out a few facets that I think are the most important parts of Gates’ career and personality.