Tech Icons

Bill Gates’ Main Use of Tech Goes Back to Basics

Bill Gates' Main Use of Tech Goes Back to Basics
PHOTOGRAPH: Kjetil Ree | Bill and Melinda Gates

America’s business magnate Bill Gates’ main use of technology is surprisingly old-school, but it is one that everyone can learn from. In a recent interview, the technology titan said his favorite way to use technology is to learn, which to his mind is not really cutting-edge anymore, but mind-blowing just the same.

An avid reader who used to pore over encyclopedias and wait until the library opened to research an issue during his college years, Bill is part of the baby boomer generation. Such a generation produced so many achievers in science and technology. It was, after all, an era when people were fond of change and far-out gadgets.

Bill was a cut above the rest, though. At a young age, the Microsoft co-founder understood when to take risks and saw many trends in the marketplace. He also had the ability to recall information, as his father noted, a detail incorporated in the book Bill Gates: A Biography by Michael B. Becraft.

Bill went on to develop the skill sets in mathematics, science, and logic that were vital to becoming a successful computer programmer. The famous Harvard University dropout did not have a definite study plan while at the Ivy League University, but he spent a lot of time using the school’s computers.

An Unquenchable Thirst for Knowledge

One thing that the entrepreneur and philanthropist believes in is lifelong learning. As author Steve Siebold noted among the hundreds of elite rich he has interviewed, “the most successful people tend to appreciate the power of learning long after any formal education is over.”

They just have a relentless intellectual energy that does not seem to dissipate with age. Such is the case with Bill. At an age when information can be acquired within seconds, his quest for knowledge remains stronger than ever.  He has also used his business brain to kickstart global humanitarian endeavors

Just because Gates is “old-school” doesn’t mean he does not mean he is averse to new technological innovations and trends. Quite the contrary.

In a  recent interview, he revealed that most of his time these days is focused on his foundation work, but he still spends a great deal of time meeting with Microsoft’s current crop of leaders to do product reviews, discuss their visions for the future, and how to innovate.  He enthused that “the work  in Microsoft is doing in cloud computing and AI is really exciting.”

At 61,  Bill’s optimism has not waned.  As the Gates Foundation tweeted, “Optimism isn’t a belief that things will automatically get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better.” Then and now, the visionary tech titan who predicted the rise of Netflix, Facebook and various data-sharing services on the web before these platforms were developed, continues to show confidence about the future and to help map it out — while enjoying one of his favorite ways to use tech, which is to keep learning.

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