With Great Wealth Comes Great Responsibility
As you know, over the past thirty years the success of Microsoft has allowed me to amass quite a personal fortune. Watching my net worth grow to nearly sixty billion dollars has obviously been an exhilarating experience, but I’d like to take a moment to share the most important thing I have learned on this wild ride: With great wealth comes great responsibility.
More important than what I can buy myself with all this money is the good I can do for others. As I finally say goodbye to the company that has brought me riches beyond my wildest dreams, what I most look forward to is dedicating more of my time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Through the Foundation, we hope to use this great fortune as an overwhelming force for good in the world. Can we end the spread of malaria, a disease that kills millions of people every year? With money like this, it would be wrong of us not to try.
What about curing AIDS? Or spurring grassroots economic development in the poorest parts of the world? Or helping libraries to spread free knowledge around the world? Or researching new ways to bring safe drinkable water to everyone on the planet?
These are just a few of the things you can do when you have virtually unlimited financial resources, as I do. Being unbelievably rich is fun, but what is most rewarding is leveraging my affluence for the good of mankind.
Woo-Hoo, I’m Rich!
Damn it feels good to be filthy stinking rich! When I hit the jackpot with Bill at Microsoft, I knew immediately that the rest of my life was going to be kick-ass awesome.
Seriously, do you even realize how sweet life is when you can afford to buy yourself anything you want? Let me give you a few examples.
On the non-rich end of the spectrum, you’ve got your hard-core sports fans that buy season tickets for their favorite team every year. When you’re rich, you buy entire teams and even stadiums. I’ve got basketball, football, soccer… Hell, I’m not even that much of a sports fan, but I gotta spend all this money somewhere, right?
Normal people have boats. I have a 416-foot superyacht (yeah, that’s right, superyacht), with its own music studio, basketball court, two helicopters, and two submarines—two submarines!
Maybe you built model rockets as a kid. That’s cute. I used a small portion of my fortune to build an actual spaceship that flew a dude into space. Suck on that.
Speaking of space, how many science-fiction nerds can say that they’ve got an entire freakin’ museum dedicated to their personal sci-fi memorabilia collection? One, that’s how many. (It’s me.) While you’re running SETI on your PC, I built a huge-ass telescope to search for ET.
Here’s my main point: Being rich is hella sweet. There’s no limit to what you can buy yourself when you’re one of the richest people in the entire world.