Gates Talks Tech, Health and Education

by admin November 16, 2006 at 11:22 am

STANFORD, Calif. — Even though Bill Gates has left day to day responsibilities at Microsoft, the company he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1975, he remains excited about technology.

The chairman of Microsoft spoke before an audience of potential future employees (computer science students) here on the campus of Stanford University.

He was the third and only solo discussion here at the TechNet Innovation Summit series of interviews, all of which were taped for Charlie Rose’s PBS interview show. The chat between Gates and Rose alternated between technology and his new love, medical research and philanthropy.

Gates described being late to a market as “the worst. I hate those. If you’re early, that’s ok. We can keep improving it and wait for the trends to come together. If you’re late, then everything coalesces around who is doing and you have to wait for a paradigm shift before you can come into the market,” he said.

He said he’ll miss being a part of the day-to-day work at Microsoft, but said that Microsoft was in good hands. Many hands. “I think the people who will remain will do a great job finding the twists and turns. There’s always been this illusion of one person playing such a key role. It’s always been thousands of people playing little roles,” he said.

On the subject of health care, his new passion, Gates compared cutting through the red tape to get drug trials done faster to the changes that took place when the microprocessor came along. To take advantage of the new technology required a whole different way of assembly.

He also knocked the press for its focus on disasters like a plane crash, but not daily events of greater tragedy, such as thousands of times more children dying from disease.

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