Bill Gates

Bill Gates time has come. Next month he will officially retire from Microsoft and turn full control over to Steve Ballmer. This is a significant event for many reasons. In all the ways that really matter Bill Gates is Microsoft. It is molded after his personality and it shows itself for better or worse in all aspects of Microsoft’s business.

I admire Bill Gates and have tried to emulate certain traits that I have identified that I feel made him successful. It doesn’t mean I an an advocate for Microsoft business practices or that everything about Bill Gates is admirable, but it is undeniable that he is/was a technical and marketing genius. I don’t think I have a ton of similarities between myself and Bill Gates, but there is one area that feel I am very similar to him. We both love the technology side of things more, but are better at the business/marketing angle. I am a bit of an enigma in the technology/linux/hosting world that I live in because I am a geek that isn’t a geek (I guess some people would argue that Im 100% geek :) ). Let me explain – Bill Gates is and was a brilliant software engineer. It is his passion and he has a great talent for it, but what really made Microsoft successful was that he could use that technical knowledge to strike business deals. He is an extremely savvy businessman.

Technical expertise almost never goes hand in hand with great business sense. So many technology companies are started by amazingly talented developers, but fail because they don’t realize that a great product doesn’t always translate to a great business. I feel Bluehost and Hostmonster is way ahead of the game compared to so many hosting companies because I have a love of the technical side of the business. In fact, if I could pick any job to do full time (Just for fun) it would be a system administrator. I love to develop software as well but realize that I am only a moderately talented developer compared to the great developers we currently employ.

Technical expertise at the top enabled Microsoft to maneuver quickly and make business decisions based on a solid technical background. I feel the same way about Bluehost. Get ready for a very arrogant comment – Rarely (Never) do I talk with CEOs of other large hosting companies where I feel they have a super strong hands on technical understanding of the underpinnings of linux, system kernels, storage systems, etc. Many would argue that they don’t need to know and understand all the “details”. That is what admins/developers are for right? Maybe they are right, but for my businesses I don’t feel comfortable not being able to work directly with these groups.

If you don’t have a deep understanding its hard to really know what to fix and how to improve. Without that knowledge how do you lead? If you can’t lead, how do you succeed? Bill Gates was the master at this. Conversely, in my opinion, Steve Ballmer is the antithesis of this method. Look at the complete mess Microsoft is today. Microsoft’s top decision makers aren’t the “get their hands dirty” technical guys that used to run the operation and it shows.

Whether you admire or despise Bill Gates you have to respect him and what he has done. He single handedly took down IBM in the personal computing arena against every conceivable obstacle. I salute his incredible accomplishment!

Matt Heaton /

16 Responses to “Bill Gates”

  1. Peter says:

    But now we need a hero to take down Microsoft.

  2. Cody B says:

    I think they will take themselves down, slowly and a little bit at a time. Kinda reminds me of that current state of America. Things don’t look to bad up here from the top, but watch out for the edge, its getting closer.

  3. T.L. says:

    Wake up, Sun Microsystems, Apple Computers, and (definitely) Linux!

    I’m in agreement with Peter!

  4. Brent2 says:

    I think it’s good to avoid talking to other hosting owners. Finding that large business income with the small business feel customers like is hard enough without getting too bogged down with their plans. Personally, I prefer to know as much about everything I work on as possible. Let’s me know if it’s going to work. Or if I’m getting played.

  5. Feng says:

    Talking to one of your sales reps (Light M.) (or is it you? lol) made me realise something very important. All jobs are important and respect for everyone is necessary.

    He/she typed so damned fast to answer my queries lol… So tempted to open up an account with you. I want a new cool blog with my own domain name rather than blogspot… Anyway, enough ranting…

    I like your blog, it’s cool… Come and visit my lame one lol, gimme some advice, anything. And oh yeah, I am impressed by your entrepreneurship abilities, 23! Sheesh, I wanna be like you. I hate the rat race, it’s damned depressing. But no idea what to do and how… And so on, so on lol…

    I rant too much for a guy. Nice meeting you.

  6. Ken Krogue says:

    You were overly kind to Bill Gates. He reminds me of the Borg on Star Trek

  7. Rich Noob says:

    Bill Gates didn’t become one of the richest men in the world by luck. He’s an incredibly smart man.

    That licensing strategy with IBM was what sealed it for Microsoft. Pure Genius.

  8. Rob Worth says:

    I can always tell when you change things. At least I thought I could. As a system administrator, business owner, delegater, and all the above, I’m always amazed when I see something you add. Like that new email reader. Gosh, is it so easy to use as compared to Squirrel.

    I’ve been training my web designer in the fine art of understanding design techniques relating to perception from others. Amazing how fast he learns. But then he is still young enough to be teachable. Yet, from my perspective of 40-years in this business, he is still green behind the ears. So much to learn, to little time to do it and grow the business as well.

    Bill Gates is an interesting read. Like the time he showed up at IBM in a t-shirt and tennis shoes for an executive conference. It was the arrogance of IBM that brought them down. And when they finally destroy their business, they end up either selling it to someone else (printers -twice-, hard drives, desk top computers, and other stuff) or simply shelving it like they eventually did with OS2.

    And remember that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are very good friends. Their mutual success is because of their friendship. Microsoft makes a lot of money on the software it makes for Apple. IT is in their best interests that Apple succeeds.

  9. Angel says:

    It´s incredible the Bill Gates way to create a big business, maybe I will never use a Microsoft server but Windows let to all the people without technical knowledge use a personal computer.

    Yes… you have similarities with Bill Gates, but your service it´s excellent

  10. Keith Myers says:

    Well, Bill Gates was definately the best at what he did, Blamer is still a Jerk

  11. without the mastermind.. for sure it will be getting worst.. IMHO.
    hope to see bill gate remain .. at least as an advisor to microsoft. Althought not in technical, at least he still can drive the business into right direction.

    when i see “microsoft is in mess today”.. i have to agree on this. Previously i worked as software developer.. and i have admit that their software is getting ‘unorganised’. WHich hurt the software developer a lot more.

    Not to mention poor success in search engine technology from microsoft. Who really use msn search now a day?

    well, hope this billionaire will remain in this software line, and continue his contribution to software development.

  12. Wes says:

    I also think that Bill Gates had the courage to try things that had never been tried before and stretch the technological front and hence the success he has had. He has built Microsoft to be a successful company but how long it will stay like that I don’t know.

  13. Lodewijk says:

    i wonder how Bill Gates his retirement will change the speed of destruction of Microsoft, there is no doubt that at this rate Microsoft WILL fall. ether Blamer will change marketing strategy extremely or he will be the second best reason of Microsoft’s failure (right after making expensive software that sucks :D).

  14. Jack says:

    Bill led a profitable software time, before that time, software is free, most company make money with hardware, such as digital, IBM, Apple… after that time, software become free again, such as Firefox, Linux, OpenOffice, …

  15. Microsoft needs to step it up, because they are losing market share, to apple, google and a lot more companies. Xbox division is doing good.

    To me microsoft loss the drive it once had, maybe because Bill Gates step down.

  16. Mark Veber says:

    let mark to sell some of his work

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