Today is the the day for Bill Gates.
He steps down as CEO of Microsoft as he plans to pursue his philanthropic ventures with the Gates Foundation.
There are some who revile him as a thief of others' ideas, as a monomaniacal "evil genius," and as a purveyor of shoddy products.
I see him as more of a visionary. In reading about his "retirement," a famous memo was referenced. It is called the Internet Tidal Wave memo, and it's some fascinating reading. He lays out exactly what he sees as the future of the Internet, and it turns out that he was pretty much dead-on. He was able to look ahead and see the direction in which things were going, and steered his company accordingly.
Love him or hate him, chances are good that you're reading this using his platform. His vision made it possible for me to publish this with absolutely no knowledge of HTML or coding. As I sit here in my living room in Indiana, I will be reaching people across the country, and occasionally other countries (Hi Vladimir!). No, Bill Gates didn't invent these things, but he had the vision necessary to apply it to a product that would become indispensable and affordable for many of us. As the driving force behind Microsoft, he has made the world a smaller place and made communication reach much farther than probably even he dreamed.
This "evil genius" has chosen to devote his time and his vast wealth to easing the suffering of those who cannot afford his products. I applaud him for that, and if he applies his considerable drive, determination, and problem-solving skills to a malaria cure, I think it's within the realm of possibility that we could see an end to that particular scourge within my lifetime.
Besides, he appeals to my Inner Geek, and gives hope to all of us who were in the Science Club.
Good luck, Bill, as you begin Bill Gates Version 2. And thanks. I can't wait to see what you do next!