Why we'll miss Bill
Are you really leaving, Bill? We only ask because it seems like some people are going to miss you. Take software entrepreneur and former Microsoft employee Joel Spolsky, for example, who reminisces about the first time Bill Gates reviewed one of his products. Back in 1992, Gates was Microsoft's CEO and still reviewed every feature of every product. Spolsky had given Gates's office an inch-thick spec for Gates, then Microsoft's CEO, to read. "There were notes in all the margins," Spolsky recalls. "On every page of the spec. He had read the whole goddamned thing." Fourteen years later, it's hard to imagine Gates -- or anyone, for that matter -- giving Microsoft products that kind of detailed scrutiny. But it was that kind of attention to detail that made Gates an effective software-company CEO back in the day. "Watching non-programmers trying to run software companies is like watching someone who doesn't know how to surf trying to surf," concludes Spolsky.

Even Mini-Microsoft, the anonymous renegade-employee blog which has often criticized the company's management, says that Gates will leave a hard-to-fill hole at the company. "We're going to need a Bill Gates action figure for those future program reviews, one that has the recorded line, 'That's the stupidest f'ing thing I've ever heard!'" Hopefully Gates will cut down on the swearing as he moves into the more genteel nonprofit world.
Posted by Owen Thomas 10:09 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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