Bill Gates: Super U Podcast
Super U is a podcast about technology and entrepreneurship. It details the stories and people that are changing the world around us. This week on the Super U Podcast, we talk about the man who is changing the world around us — Gates. And not the computer programmer type — the super-rich and influential type. The Microsoft founder and philanthropist are perhaps the most well-known and well-regarded of all the billionaire techies. But inside this reclusive and aloof character, there’s a human being who’s trying to make the world a better place.
What inspired you to start Super U?
In 1992, during a trip to Asia, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates told a story about the time he traveled to Japan to help with the reconstruction efforts following World War II. In the midst of it all, he met an old friend who was now a wealthy entrepreneur. What stuck out to him was the number of people living without electricity. This trip to Japan and its aftermath inspired him to do something about it. It sparked a lifelong love of learning and a drive to help those in need around the world.
How did you become the man you are today?
Growing up, Gates was always interested in computers and math. On his own, he created an algorithm that could track kids’ eye movements and calculate their future visual impairment. The result: an early warning system that could pinpoint a kid’s future condition. That algorithm later evolved into Microsoft’s Autism Awareness platform, vaccines, and more.
What’s next for Super U?
Super U started as a quest to understand the man and his philanthropy. Now, the show delves more deeply into what drives this man and his philosophies. We explore his time at the University of Washington and his impact on education and technology. We also look at how his business and philanthropic endeavors have combined to create an impressive track record.
The one business “mistake” that’s cost him billions over the years
It’s no secret that Bill and Melinda Gates have been incredibly successful in their business endeavors. But their philanthropy has helped them build a legacy that will live on for decades. As we begin to dig into the details, it’s clear that their business decisions have been far from smart money-generating moves. We begin our tour of the gated community of Giving What We Can (GWWC) in Seattle and its surrounding areas. GWWC is home to a large number of the city’s underprivileged residents. But it’s also home to the world’s richest people. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the GWWC family has given away more than $4 billion. But in 2014, the Seattle Times reported that the Gateses and their foundation had amassed a staggering $9.9 billion in debt. As a result, the foundation was forced to close its doors.
The one “aha” moment that changed everything
As we move deeper into the show, the “aha” moments are sure to keep coming. For example, we visit a primary school in Silicon Valley that was built with a grant from the Gates Foundation. It’s the only school in the area with Internet access. But there are only 42 students enrolled in the school. That’s a rather small number for a school of that size. So when we visit, we’re met with a rather small crowd gathered around a single computer. But what’s even more amazing is that this group of students is in the city’s top revenue-earning profession. When we sit down with them, we learn that they’ve saved enough money to move to Europe and start a new life. But they can’t do it themselves because they don’t speak the language. They need a special learning program to help them achieve that. So this program has done more than just help these students. It has given these kids a future.
The one book that changed his life
In the 1980s, Gates began research into how libraries around the world worked. That led him to the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor, an early engineer, and businessman who was widely believed to be the first to scientifically test claims made by engineers and scientists. When Gates first read W. “It turned my head,” he said. “It did.”
The piece of advice you’ll never forget him giving you
We’re not going to sugarcoat it. Bill Gates is a complicated man. That being said, there is one thing he’s never, ever said that we have to worry about. And that’s money. That’s a given. People ask us “Is he a rich or a poor person?
The one word that sums up Super U
We can’t end this show in a complete sentence. But one word that sums up Super U perfectly is impacted. The impact is an incredible word. It describes the feeling you get when you see a difference in people’s lives. And it’s the thing that drives us at Super U. We want to make a difference in the lives of people around the world. And by living the super-life of Bill Gates, we do just that.