By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Impatient Optimist: Bill Gates in his own words
Edited by Lisa Rogak (Hardie Grant, $17.95, softcover, 182 pages)
A quote of this calibre carries weight when the founder of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates, says it: “This is how I see the world, and it should make one thing clear: I am an optimist. But I am an impatient optimist.”
This book is an uncommon, but noteworthy way—through a collection of direct quotes—to glean an insight into the genius of an esteemed business icon.
Organised into categories, the quotes aim to give you a better idea of who he is and where he stands on a variety of issues from addiction to technology, business, Microsoft and acquiring other companies to philanthropy, money and life.
Rogak, who has also edited quote books on Barack Obama, Colin Powell and Howard Dean, presents a short and sharp insight that’s enough to be inspirational.
Consistently ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest men, Gates is a man who has had his fair share of controversies, but many have emulated his business philosophies and strategies in an effort to establish and expand their own companies.
Even though he loved the “magic of software”, Gates left the daily operations of Microsoft in 2008 to devote himself full-time to running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which is guided by the belief that every life has equal value.
For an “ingenious visionary and a tyrannical, sometimes less than scrupulous businessman”, community giving has brought out a caring, softer side in contrast to his hard-nosed reputation.
Unlike the entrepreneur and philanthropist, some might consider themselves to be patient optimists: believing that change is conceivable, but only after exhaustive input of time, effort and sometimes striking obstacles for access to viable resources.
Edition 336, 23 October 2012
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