Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

07 July 2007

On Gates, and the Market at Large

"Can a dude break free and still get honored at home?"
- Common

It's easy to forget on days like this that, once upon a time, Microsoft was a breath of fresh air.

I once had a teacher who said, "Tell me Bill Gates doesn't deserve to be the richest man in the world. Can you develop something to top DOS? I guarantee you - the day we're using hovercrafts to get around, we're still going to be using DOS to power them."

A popular rebuttal to this argument is, "Well, Bill Gates didn't develop DOS - he stole and monetized it."

Regardless of whether or not Gates himself developed DOS, it was, without argument, Gates who monetized it. That means he took a technology available to a few and turned it into a tool whose benefits we all have the luxury of taking for granted today.

What is more revolutionary than that?

So with that in mind, why is Bill Gates perceived as any different from the Robin Hoods and Horatio Algers of the world?

Maybe the reason why the devvies who make major contributions, then sell out, is because they're not selling out. Maybe the market is rewarding their efforts - and justly so.

That's not to say the market doesn't make mistakes, and that people with bad agendas or counterproductive ideas don't get wealthy. But the market also has an uncanny ability to correct its mistakes over time - and without remorse.

Consider Enron.

And consider the way Microsoft, long past its prime, is flailing today.

The mighty fall hard...

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