Of Bill Gates and Goals

If someone wanted to give me a lesson on differences between rest of the world and tech-obsessed United States, yesterday was a perfect day. I met with several people yesterday, most talked about England’s struggles to win the match again Soca Warriors, and not one mentioned Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ decision to step down from active duties at Microsoft to focus on more charitable enterprises. (CNN Money has a special report that covers all you ever want to know about Bill Gates.)

In fact, it wasn’t till I saw MSNBC I got the news. A lot has been said about Gates’ moving on, and I guess it came as a surprise to many, because everyone thought Steve Ballmer was going to get the boot. Who knows – he just might quit, now that Bill won’t be there to hang out with him anymore?

In many ways Gates leaving is a good thing for Microsoft, because the company needs to learn without the nagging question: What will Bill Say? Microsoft is battling on many fronts, and it is not easy for the company to win many of these skirmishes. It needs to get some new blood and new tactics. As for Bill, well his decision to focus on charity and helping the world – well let that be a lesson for other fat cats – money is only money after a point, unless you do something with it.

Update: I got a chance to chat with Mark Ward of BBC who has included me in his reactions to the Bill Gates decision to step down.