Bill Gates just finished hosting an AMA on Reddit. We got to read a few fun facts about him, including his guilty pleasure and what he would’ve done if he didn’t start Microsoft. He also offers some sound advice for young people looking to be successful in the future.
Here are some highlights, all questions and answers are unedited.
“Just creating an innovative company is a huge contribution to the world. During my 20′s and 30′s that was all I focused on. Ideally people can start to mix in some philanthropy like Mark Zuckerberg has early in his career. I have enjoyed talking to some of the Valley entrepreneurs about this and I am impressed and how early they are thinking about giving back – much earlier than I did.”
“Owning a plane is a guilty pleasure. Warren Buffett called his the Indefensible. I do get to a lot of places for Foundation work I wouldn’t be able to go to without it.”
“Playing Bridge is a pretty old fashioned thing in a way that I really like. I was watching my daughter ride horses this weekend and that is also a bit old fashioned but fun. I do the dishes every night – other people volunteer but I like the way I do it.”
“I considered law and math. My Dad was a lawyer. I think though I would have ended up in physics if I didn’t end up in computer science.”
“My time will be about 2/3 Foundation and 1/3 Microsoft. I will focus on product work mostly.”
“The foundation is involved in digital money but unlike Bitcoin it would not be anonymous digital money. In Kenya M-pesa is being used for almost half of all transactions. Digital money has low transaction costs which is great for the poor because they need to do financial transactions with small amounts of money. Over the next 5 years I think digital money will catch on in India and parts of Africa and help the poorest a lot.”(http://www.impatientoptimists.org/posts/2011/01/mobile-phones-savings-a-powerful-pair)
“The Windows project which required a lot of patience was great. Office was also great. Together they defined the big success of the 1990s for Microsoft. Office connected to the cloud has a LOT of potential and we are off to a good start. Cloud Storage needs to be a lot richer though.”
“Invest in your education.”