11 November 2009

The Next Bill Gates, or the Next Tim B-L?

On Twitter, I have just been followed by @nextbillgates, which is associated with the eponymous Web site:

Consider yourself to be an IT wizard – just like Bill Gates?

If the answer is yes, why not enter our brand new, national search to find the UK version of the next Bill Gates?

This is rather sad. If we're searching for an "IT wizard" to hold up as an example, why not look closer to home, and choose Sir Tim Berners-Lee? He not only invented the Web, he *gave it away*, as one of the most glorious acts of altruism we've seen in recent years, kick-starting technological, economic and social changes that are probably unmatched since the Industrial Revolution.

Isn't that something worth celebrating, and encouraging others to emulate? Or are we so mired in greedy materialism that we must instead hold up a man who not only accumulated a truly obscene amount of money by overcharging people for defective software through smart marketing, but is also founder of a company that was found to be a monopoly?

What kind of future do we really want: one based on taking, or one based on giving?

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca.

4 comments:

Carl Morris said...

I'm inclined to agree.

It's possibly a bit unfair not to mention Bill Gates' own altruism in this context though - his foundation etc.

Anyway here's to TBL!

glyn moody said...

@Carl: well, except for stuff like this:

http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2009/10/gates-gives-300-million-but-with-catch.html

Bod said...

Bill Gates' company wasn't "found to be a monopoly", which while not ideal will generally not get you into bother, it was found to be abusing its monopoly power in various ways at the expense of competitors and consumers.

glyn moody said...

@Bod: well, if it was abusing its monopoly power, doesn't that make it a monopoly? But I agree, your phrasing is better...