The man who many would say initiated the age of personal computer usage has been dividing his time among interests outside of Microsoft for the past six years, when he stepped down from a full time position at his company. But Bill Gates looks to be changing the pace of his business efforts even further, with endeavors that are continually diversified. He has made investments of various kinds, has been working to fight malaria throughout the world, is backing meat alternatives for the future of food, and there is speculation of Gates returning to the educational arenas. Especially as he is no longer the largest shareholder of Microsoft stock, the window of the future sits wide open for Bill Gates to pour his influence through.
Bill Gates began as the largest shareholder in Microsoft, but as the company proceeded with its success, he decided to affix his stock sales to a timeline, which brought him to his current point of holding 330 million shares. The rise of value, driven in part by the demand for Microsoft stock, has enabled Gates to be able to sell his stock and have plenty of funding in return for any philanthropic and investment-related efforts.
The appointing of Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s current CEO in February of this year also marked Gates’ choice to step down from the role of Chairman. The Chairman position is now filled by John Thompson, and with Gates’ direct influence being almost entirely vacant from the company he helped to launch, it is likely that he has plans to revolutionize a number of other industries.
If Bill Gates maintains the rate at which he has been selling his Microsoft stock, he will not own any by the time 2018 arrives. He will still be able to provide for his life as a billionaire, however, and if there is anyone who can afford to diversify their endeavors with changing global paces, it is Bill Gates. The technology giant once again landed the Richest Person in the World title this year, which means he essentially has no limits in respect to how far he would want to take his upcoming projects. Even though Gates has made large donations to schools in the form of physical resources, writers such as Valerie Strauss are supporting the idea that he should be updating the dynamic of his giveaways.
For years, the results from educational studies have pointed to the fact that there is a direct relationship between the income level of a family and how well the children of said family do in school. Wealthier communities are able to support their local schools at a higher level, because the taxation amount is higher. These factors lead to better programs, teachers and resources at the school’s disposal. These are only some of the more basic dynamics of how schools are funded, but they are vital dynamics nonetheless.
In the past, philanthropists and millionaires have harnessed the power evidenced by their wealth to build custom teams that they can use to leverage their own choices and influence wherever they want, but Strauss writes that this has been detrimental at times. There is plenty of room for those with money to change education for the better, and chances are that Bill Gates will be receiving more pressure to be unconventional in his future approaches for reforming schools. As a college dropout himself, one would think that he would be very much in favor of unorthodox changes, but time will have to tell.
In terms of Gates’ actions that have been receiving support, earlier this week he uploaded a picture to Reddit showing him holding his arm over a container filled with mosquitoes. The action was performed on behalf of helping to “equip” lab-raised mosquitoes that are planned for breeding with dengue-carrying mosquitoes, thereby aiming to minimize the chances of dengue affecting humans. Dengue is a type of powerful fever that creates pain in the muscles and joints of those bitten by a carrying mosquito.
So while Bill Gates keeps his endeavors diversified, there is no question that as up-and-coming developers rise to the global stage, they will be looking to him for guidance, as he changes the pace of how the multi-tiered inhabitants of the Earth interact with each other. Gates’ choices are ever so controversial at times, but perhaps for the better. It is more beneficial for the spectators of power players such as Gates to be drawn in by skepticism and intrigue, rather than simply giving him their personal green light all the time. After all, this is how discussions develop, and how perspectives are formed that give people the drive to effect changes of their own.
Opinion By Brad Johnson