Bill Gates Doesn't Want to Be President
Bill Gates is many things: CEO, billionaire, philanthropist, speed-reader. One thing he is not is a politician, and he doesn't intend to start soon.
During a wide-ranging Reddit AMA on Tuesday, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation answered questions on humanitarian issues, quantum computing, and which version of Windows he uses (for the record, it's "always updated Windows 10"). Here are the six most interesting things he had to say.
Bill Gates Is Happy With His Current Job
Just a day after billionaire Michael Bloomberg said he will not run for president of the U.S., the Microsoft founder also affirmed he doesn't want the highest office in the country.
"I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President," he responded to an inquiry about his Presidential potential. "Also I wouldn't be good at doing what you need to do to get elected. I thought Michael Bloomberg was thoughtful about why it didn't make sense for him to try and run even though he is a great executive."
When it was then suggested that his friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett throw his hat in the ring, Gates said "Warren also loves his current job too much to give it up!"
But He's Also Realized the Importance of Vacations
Another Redditor asked Gates if he plans to retire anytime soon. He again reiterated his love for his current job—which he hopes to continue working for "for another 30 years"— though he said he has changed his mind on one important part of work-life balance.
"I have the flexibility to work less if I wanted to and I do take vacations now," he replied. "When I was in my 20's I didn't believe in vacation so I have mellowed."
The Apple/FBI Case Is 'the Start of a Discussion'
Gates was asked for his take on the recent FBI/Apple debate, in which the tech company is refusing to unlock an iPhone belonging to a suspected terrorist in the San Bernadino shooting, claiming it violates the company's First Amendment right to free speech.
Gates said the there needs to be a more robust conversation around when the government can gather information.
He Doesn't Like Spending Money on Clothes
You don't reach an $87.4 billion net worth without being financially astute—and that includes knowing when to splurge and when to save. Gates' frugality is similar to his billionaire buddy Buffet's: The richest man in the world said he doesn't like to spend money on clothes or jewelry for himself, though he does "like to buy nice things" for his wife, Melinda.
"I think people's spending instincts are set when they are in high school," he said.
He Believe in Staying Curious
Beyond his business acumen, Gates is known for his love of reading; he publishes a reading list every year and tracks his reading habits on a blog. In addition to that, he often encourages people to never stop learning, and has invested in educational endeavors across the globe. So when another Redditor asked for the humanitarian's advice on life after high school, Gates replied in typical fashion, saying the value of a great education "is easy to underestimate," and that the "most interesting jobs" in STEM fields require a college degree. "The value of staying curious - reading a lot and learning new things even after college is also underestimated," he finished. In answer to a different question, he suggested taking a course to learn to speed read.
The Most Useful Thing Gates Ever Learned
When asked what the most useful thing he ever learned was, Gates replied "To read? To type? To think before speaking?"