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Nov 07, 2003

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Shel Israel of Conferenza and ItSeemsToMe has started blogging with a piece praising the Gates Foundation and wondering why more people don't think well of it. Is it true that people don't think well of the Foundation? Shel's evidence is that the spea... [Read More]

Comments

Ernie

I thought Stansfield was somewhat wooden in her delivery, and not all that comfortable with the audience. Maybe she had an off day. But I was completely engrossed in her presentation due to the subject matter.

Jan Ziff

Could it also be that Gates' personality has changed - but the perceptions of him haven't? I recently met him again, after several years, and where he was arrogant, rude and unpleasant on my first encounter, he was relaxed, cheerful and very easy to talk to, on this occasion. It was a Bill Gates I'd not seen before - but one c olleagues tell me is often spotted these days. Maybe marriage, fatherhood and all those good things have shored up his insecure side? All I know is that Bill Gates 2003 is much more pleasant and sociable that Bill Gates 1993.

Scheherazade

I just finished reviewing the Pop!Tech evaluations, and the resentment and distrust of Microsoft that you describe was visible in people's reactions to Stansfield. Many people were moved by the photos and the issues, and many were impressed with Stansfield, especially in her handling of the Q&A. And although Stansfield didn't rate as highly as other speakers, she was favorably received by most attendees.

But there were several people who scrawled in comments about Microsoft instead. As though this good work is Microsoft's obligation rather than the gift that it is, or as though the Foundation's work and Stansfield's presentation was some kind of PR exploit of Microsoft.

Very strange, the vehemence of people's distrust.

pops

Here in Seattle the Gates family has been known as regular donors for various causes for many years. In fact, if memeory serves, its Wm. Gates sr who runs the foundation. Since MS is in our backyard we do get quite a bit of news about the foundation.

Also - the voters of WA voted to do away with race-based quotas at the state schools. The Gates Foundation fired back a few days later with a huge grant of minority scholarships to those schools.

If Thorsten Veblen were around he'd point out that there's Bill Gates the individual and MS the institution. And once an institution is large enough it has it's own personality, needs, and survival mechanism. One may be hard to discern from the other much like your personality at times might be hard to discern from your parents' personalities.

Brad Templeton

Gates' problem is his bar is too high. People look at his wealth and compare his philanthropy only with that, rather than looking at it on an absolute scale, where it is among the best in the world.

The advice I have given that I will repeat is that he is forced to astound people with his philanthropy as much as he has with his business success. His bar is so high he must be the most creative philanthropist in the world to match being the most successful businessman.

That means putting the energy and thought into it that goes into running Microsoft. Tall order.

But they are indeed doing one of the things I thought they should do, working on a cure for Malaria. I actually suggested they do it in near-secret, so when and if it comes, it would astound the world like the launch of a new killer app. However, that's only if you're doing the philanthropy for maximum image, which is not the way to do it and probably not the way he wants to do it.

This is not a description of what I think is the best thing he could do, it's a description of how high his bar is.

Mcgill

It is very bad of those making bad gestures of Microsoft. I think Bill Gates is doing his best what he could do to prevent healthcare.

Larry Smith

Botulism and bubonic plague are still alive and well. Botulism is usually food-borne. It is deadly but not contagious. Plague is easily treated with antibiotics, and scarce because of modern sanitation standards, so it is not likely to get any press.

But malaria is, in fact,the scourge of the modern world. With a cure, it could be contained, the success of which would probably be determined by the quality and quantity of the medical care delivery system.

Jack

As far as i know, Gate's and his family has been a regular donor for many years.

Joan L. Brewer

The Gates Foundation was started in 1994 by Gates' father after I left a rather lenthy message on his answering machine. He called me back several times and left messages on my answering machine. It didn't take long before Daddy Dearest began the donations of free computers and Microsoft software to libraries. That wasn't good enough for Redmond Rose who was left with a physical disability due to harassment by two men on a business trip for Microsoft.

Microsoft actually lost their antitrust cases due to what was on my web site, specifically several legal document ordering my service provider to give them my e-mail and a legal attack on me for writing some women in my community to their homes about my concerns over pornography, especially the promotion of child porn and sexual abuse of women. I even went to the FBI about this, but found over time that Microsoft owns the local FBI.

I predicted a backlash to the way Microsoft and others in the computer industry were using sex and porn to promote the sells of computers, and it happened. The fact that Steve Ballmer is CEO and not in jail is still amazing to me after what I saw inside that company.

We saw the stocks to up and then we all started to see if fall apart in the beginning of 2000 with the crash of MSFT and in 2001 with the rest of the industry. MSFT once hit $60 and is now below $23. I don't see it coming back very soon. I only need to go to the local Apple store and see the crowds of people in there to know why Microsoft is beginning to develop hardware for the Mac. Your going to see the iPod go wireless and begin to implement browser software that can run programs off the web. PCs are now Work Stations. To a younger generation, this isn't much fun. They want business automation and entertainment at their finger tips. 'An Apple a day keeps the doctors away.'

Redmond Rose~

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