Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bill Gates - American Inventor

Many would credit Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs with bringing desktop computers to the world, but Bill Gates also deserves credit in establishing the PC industry. He has been such a fixture that I was initially surprised when he stepped back from his full-time role at Microsoft to establish the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sure it might help solve pressing issues like malaria, tuberculosis, and clean water in developing countries, but I was concerned if Microsoft would be the same after he stepped away in 2006. Well history shows when he resigned as Microsoft's CEO in 1999 Microsoft was a $600 billion company and today it is $270 billion. But then I realized who can criticize his desire to help others? Certainly it appears to be the right decision since the Gates Foundation has made real progress in addressing these problems.

Less known is Mr. Gates has also been inventor since leaving his day-to-day role at Microsoft, mostly working with friends at Intellectual Ventures. I find that hard to criticize, but one article has spun this as Bill Gates still helping known patent trolls obtain more patents. Does anyone think he is interested in helping a patent troll get more patents in his "spare" time? Couldn't we give him the benefit of a doubt that he is engaging in creative thinking on how to help the world in this context? For some the answer is yes and no, because they see every bit of news as supporting their presumptions.

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