Bill Gates discusses his last conversations with Steve Jobs. Gates also discusses his philanthropy work, GMO crops, GMO food safety and vaccines. He talks about advice he’s gotten from Warren Buffet and what advice he would give to young entrepreneurs.
This film is amazing for at least a couple reasons. One, that it so well captures the spirit a commercially-bustling city long, long ago, when film itself was in its infancy, and two, because it was filmed just four days before the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was originally thought to have been filmed in 1905, but research discovered the correct 1906 date and circumstances.
It’s said that the film was a promotional effort, and indeed if you watch closely, you might notice at least one the cars crossing in front is the same car, circling back around the trolley it was shot from. I’m sure a few extra pedestrians and props supplemented the film as well!
As I have always said, computing and biotech are, and will be, the two pillars of major growth for the foreseeable future – that is, the two major categories of human need, technological innovation and business growth. The specific areas within computing and biotech will change and meander from one application context to another. For example, more and more computing is finding it’s way into smart phones now.
Computing will do many more things for humans in the future and do them in better, more efficient ways. Hardware advancements (processing speed, memory, hard drive space, etc.) have far out-paced software innovation, in my opinion. In other words, even desktop computers from the mid-90’s could do amazing things to improve people’s lives currently if programmed very cleverly and used most effectively. Due to the abstract nature of computing, and the average person’s general lack of ability to understand how life really works, most people don’t understand how much computers have already improved our potential standard of living since the ’70s. I say “potential”, because decline of productivity-supporting cultural traits and governmental intervention has a way of setting back many gains afforded by technological advances. Imagine the analogy of being a caveman, migrating to a new land with plentiful food, but you’re now full of parasites too, which leech away any nutritional advantage!
Biotech (short for biotechnology) has done much already as well. The future will bring much more. Biotechnology has much to offer, including medical advances (cures, treatments) not otherwise possible and increased agricultural productivity (which means more hungry people get fed, for those who can’t figure that out). By the late ’80s, researchers had developed techniques for genetic engineering – a much more direct approach to manipulating genes within one or many cells of an organism. There have been hysterias about genetically modified foods, plants and microorganisms, and to be sure, genetic engineering could be used to do bad things, it is overall a very helpful technology that will result in longer lifespans, healthier people, real cures for cancers and other currently-incurable disease. More people can be fed and more will have balanced nutrition. Biotech is another tool to allow the planet to sustain more people without so much massive human rights violations and general conflict.
You might ask, what is the “foreseeable future”? I’d predict Computing and Biotechnology to be the two most dominant technologies for the next century at least. There is some point at which even the greatest human minds cannot predict well, because every technology sets the stage for more technological and cultural possibilities. Cultural and political upheavals, actions of individuals and natural disasters complicate any predictions of technology or industry.
This is the original 1987 Wall Street, with Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas and Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen.
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Oliver Stone and stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. The screenplay was written by Stanley Weiser and Stone. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker desperate to succeed who becomes involved with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.
This movie is a must-see for business students. Released in 1999, it tells the story of Microsoft and Apple from their very beginnings, in the crazy 70’s. The movie includes many important and harsh business lessons. It’s also very fascinating to see how such very different people, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, can develop and launch world-changing ideas and business ventures.
Are entrepreneurs rogues who reject what is most socially acceptable? Are entrepreneurs the true rebels?
In a society where conformity to vocational norms submission to political will seems to be increasing, having the nerve to go into business for yourself is often seen as greedy, foolish, too risky, or inappropriate in some other way. Of course, some are indifferent, some even encouraging and supportive, but those who do not approve of you are significant. God forbid you are married to one of these types!
Even the government seems to be anti-business, so that those who live in the highest fear of their new god of an over-reaching, all-powerful government may avoid going into business to seek highest perceived approval of that government.
Steve Jobs, entrepreneur and founder of Apple Computer, Inc.
It’s irrational, and in my view, wrong to be against business, without that business doing something wrong (such as fraud, deception, sinister/predatory legal action, etc.). Business and entrepreneurs have a rightful and critical role in a free economy: to innovate, produce and provide jobs, among other things.
So it seems the entrepreneur must go forth in defiance, fighting all the pressures to keep him down. This is unfortunate, to get so much resistance from society and the government, because entrepreneurs have enough challenges – organization of the business, outsmarting competition, dealing with the minefield government red tape, unfair lawsuits, etc.. But, those are realities that are slow and hard to change. These are the challenges the brave entrepreneur must face (unless or until a work-around can be found)if he or she expects to be successful. So an entrepreneur must accept this rebel status. Business must continue. Hopefully culture and government will eventually develop a healthy respect for entrepreneurs, but until that day comes, drive on and don’t give up!
If you live in the U.S.A., and have a broadband internet connection (cable, DSL, shared WiFi, etc.), you can now make free phone calls (internet required)!
For years, we’ve been able to call others for free over Yahoo Messenger, Skype, or others, but this relies on the other person also having that program.
There is now a way you can make outgoing calls for free, at least through 2011. Google Talk, which with the Video and voice plug-in, may be activated on the left navigation pane of Gmail (“Call phone” link) allows you to make free outgoing phone calls for at least 2012, to landlines or cell phones.
Even with a subscription to Skype, which does allow dirt cheap outgoing calls to landlines and cellphones, you still don’t have a phone number for people to dial, so they have to have Skype too to call you. Google Voice provides a solution. So far, Google Voice gives you a free phone number, from which you can receive voicemails and text messages (SMS) and return the call or even answer the call over Google Talk.
Google Voice is easy to use with an existing cell phone, so that one could even use a cheap prepaid phone, with Google Voice calls ringing through to it. Prepaid cell phone like Tracfone can be kept active for as little as $6.66/month. The prepaid phone can just be used as an audio notification of an incoming call or text, while you call or text them back over Google Talk/Google Voice.
The relief the internet brings from predatory monopolies by big traditional phone companies like Verizon is a wonderful thing. Phone/voice options will only get better as business competes over the internet landscape.