What are some common misconceptions about Bill Gates?

Answer by Akhyansh Mohapatra:

The biggest misconception about Bill is that he is the villain whereas Steve is the hero. That he is the suited-up, ruthless capitalist while Steve Jobs is this inventor monk. What follows is my reasoning of how Bill managed to take that image up.

It started in the 90s. The internet was emerging and was primarily being used in colleges. Netscape saw potential and developed a browser. It went into hypergrowth and Bill Gates knew this was going to be huge.

He diverted all of Microsoft's resources into developing a browser and the team came up with the first Internet Explorer which shipped for free along with Windows. And unlike today's IE, this thing was awesome. So people started using IE instead of Netscape, and within a few months Netscape declared bankruptcy. This attracted the authorities. The US Government filed a case against Microsoft claiming that they had used anti-competitive practices to monopolise the entire Browser space and that they had blackmailed companies into using IE instead of Netscape.

It was a very public trial. And thanks to the media uproar around this trial, Gates' image as a ruthless capitalist was cemented. He was the richest man on the planet and his money-making practices were in question. This is how he gained this huge army of cynics. MS shares fell by a shuddering 30%. Reportedly, he cried in a board meeting and told them he was suffering from severe stress-induced insomnia.

The trial was about monopolisation. But monopoly is a weird legal concept. Governments have patent offices to protect them and ruthlessly prosecutes them if they succeed in making one. Companies like Google, Amazon, etc. lie all the time to cover up their monopolies with monopoly lies. They show themselves as part of a larger market to cover up. For example, Google may call itself an advertising company that owns a small portion of the advertising space rather than calling itself a monopolistic search engine.  Coming back to Bill, at the end of the day he was doing business and he wasn't conning any customers as we did get a solid internet browser for $0.00. Why should we be cynical of him for whatever happened in the background and what he couldn't cover as good as the bunch of other companies doing the same, when we got what we needed?

People are still so cynical that even his charities seem fishy to them. But, I don't think that anyone would leave his insanely great mansion to go to the poverty-stricken areas of Africa if he isn't driven by a vision. A vision to make the world better. He could easily have stuck to his old job like Jobs. He could have shown his face at the Windows 20 launch, signed a few autographs and then died. But he wanted direct.

If you ask me, I think Bill's a real hero and Steve is more like an anti-hero with his dark side, torturous Foxconn assembly lines and stock backdating.

What are some common misconceptions about Bill Gates?


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