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Bill Gates, Programmer
Time and time again you can see the evidence of fancy foot work and the closer you look the fancier it gets! It all has the mark of a programmer's mind set to the complex task of managing a business.
If you read about Bill Gates's character you will most often find him described as intelligent, arrogant and prone to temper tantrums. Coming from a well-to-do background he fits the mould of the spoilt, over-privileged child who never quite managed to grow up. He certainly looked the part of the awkward teenager, a fact that many top company executives have commented on and initially found difficult to deal with. A common problem seems to have been misidentifying Gates as the office junior rather than the boss! They also comment in many cases that Gates then went on to impress them with his confidence and grasp of the business in hand. A strange mixture.
The most important feature of Bill Gates has to be his powerful intelligence coupled with his overwhelming desire to win. There is no question that he is very intelligent - his early school success, the quality of the programs with which he has been associated and the number of times Microsoft managed to win irrespective of chance factors are all a testimony to this. He also values people with whom he can have "high band width" communication and this is perhaps one the main reasons that Microsoft worked as if it were a single unit more than any other company.
His addiction to winning is proved by his appetite for playing games - poker, go - and fast cars. Even catching a plane for a business appointment was turned into a competitive game - how late could you leave the Microsoft offices and still catch the plane!
While it is tempting to compare Gates with Steve Jobs of Apple - they were born in the same year and were both founders of major competing companies - the comparison quickly turns into a contrast. About the only similarities seem to be their tendency to have temper tantrums, although Bill Gates seems even to have managed these to good effect! The key difference is that Gates is a techie, an analytical thinker, whereas Jobs worked more by impressions and hunches than anything else.
Bill Gates is a programmer and it shows.