Heading to the BBC

I'll be on the BBC in a little more than an hour as part of its "NewsNight" show. What are we talking about? Bill Gates.

What am I going to say? He's the smartest guy I've ever met. Read Joel Spolsky's "BillG review" meeting notes to get a little insight.

I've had two meetings with him in addition to the Channel 9 interview we did and that lunch that Arrington attended (I interviewed him once before I was an employee too).

In the meetings I observed how he dealt with things. First, he took lots of notes. Second, he figured out where we hadn't done our homework quicker than anyone else I'd ever known. Third, he asked more questions in a shorter amount of time (one meeting was scheduled to last 30 minutes, but went an hour-and-a-half, the other was scheduled for six minutes and I think it went to seven) than I've ever been asked in my life.

Some things I told him were repeated by him on stage word-for-word months later.

He is an extraordinary person. I doubt I'll ever meet someone like him again.

His attention to detail prepared me for the rest of my life. Last night we were presenting to a group of VC's and CTOs and CEOs and we were getting the same kind of treatment, but I noticed that there were 60 people in the room last night. I then understood why Microsoft often went up against the best in the industry and won.

Anyway, enough BS. If Bill were here he'd have called "bull" on me by the fourth sentence. My few minutes spent with him will always be among my most treasured memories. 

There are tons of other stories about Bill Gates over on TechMeme today.

Comments

  1. Thanks Robert for this enrty. I hope that you do not forget about the power of New Media that you are promoting too quickly.
    Yesterday I

    wrote about you
    in my blog entry:
    “I feel that Robert Scoble’s leaving Microsoft has literally taken blogging to the next stage. Scoble is talking about the power of new media in his blog and recently in a post he said, ” Ballmer should not listen to his PR team and instead should live the blogging way.” I have the same advice to the South Asian companies.”
    I know everyone is writing about you but just don’t forget the power of grassroots.

  2. Thanks Robert for this enrty. I hope that you do not forget about the power of New Media that you are promoting too quickly.
    Yesterday I

    wrote about you
    in my blog entry:
    “I feel that Robert Scoble’s leaving Microsoft has literally taken blogging to the next stage. Scoble is talking about the power of new media in his blog and recently in a post he said, ” Ballmer should not listen to his PR team and instead should live the blogging way.” I have the same advice to the South Asian companies.”
    I know everyone is writing about you but just don’t forget the power of grassroots.

  3. Thanks Robert for this enrty. I hope that you do not forget about the power of New Media that you are promoting too quickly.
    Yesterday I

    wrote about you
    in my blog entry:
    “I feel that Robert Scoble’s leaving Microsoft has literally taken blogging to the next stage. Scoble is talking about the power of new media in his blog and recently in a post he said, ” Ballmer should not listen to his PR team and instead should live the blogging way.” I have the same advice to the South Asian companies.”
    I know everyone is writing about you but just don’t forget the power of grassroots.

  4. Bill Gates rocks. I agree. People who disagree have not met and interacted with him.

    I had 3 reviews with him over the years and he has always been the way you describe him.

    I remember presenting Sparkle a few years ago, must have been 2003, while I talked to no end and showed stuff to no end, he patiently listened and never interrupted me once.

    Eventually I was done (!) and he asked me several questions with a very respectful tone – what surprised me was that he sounded as if he had been working on a daily basis on the same problems we were trying to solve (designers working with developers; simplifying a complex API/platform; etc).

    My answers triggered more insightful and smart questions; the more interactions we had, the more respect I had for him…

    I was confident that he understood exactly what we were trying to do, where we had innovated, where we could improve, what we might have not thought about.

    Manuel

  5. Bill Gates rocks. I agree. People who disagree have not met and interacted with him.

    I had 3 reviews with him over the years and he has always been the way you describe him.

    I remember presenting Sparkle a few years ago, must have been 2003, while I talked to no end and showed stuff to no end, he patiently listened and never interrupted me once.

    Eventually I was done (!) and he asked me several questions with a very respectful tone – what surprised me was that he sounded as if he had been working on a daily basis on the same problems we were trying to solve (designers working with developers; simplifying a complex API/platform; etc).

    My answers triggered more insightful and smart questions; the more interactions we had, the more respect I had for him…

    I was confident that he understood exactly what we were trying to do, where we had innovated, where we could improve, what we might have not thought about.

    Manuel

  6. Bill Gates rocks. I agree. People who disagree have not met and interacted with him.

    I had 3 reviews with him over the years and he has always been the way you describe him.

    I remember presenting Sparkle a few years ago, must have been 2003, while I talked to no end and showed stuff to no end, he patiently listened and never interrupted me once.

    Eventually I was done (!) and he asked me several questions with a very respectful tone – what surprised me was that he sounded as if he had been working on a daily basis on the same problems we were trying to solve (designers working with developers; simplifying a complex API/platform; etc).

    My answers triggered more insightful and smart questions; the more interactions we had, the more respect I had for him…

    I was confident that he understood exactly what we were trying to do, where we had innovated, where we could improve, what we might have not thought about.

    Manuel

  7. The BeeBeeC no less! I assume they’ll add it to their online broadcast/vlog..? It would be good to pick it up on the .net if I miss the show. Any idea what timeslot?

    I aim to knock up my own vlog soon and do some virtual tours of Ireland from the air and CamCast the footage from my Microlight. Got to figure out a way to secure the camera :-) Would be nice to add a GPS locale in to the footage and connect it up to V-Earth etc..

    Good luck!
    Rob Atkinson

  8. The BeeBeeC no less! I assume they’ll add it to their online broadcast/vlog..? It would be good to pick it up on the .net if I miss the show. Any idea what timeslot?

    I aim to knock up my own vlog soon and do some virtual tours of Ireland from the air and CamCast the footage from my Microlight. Got to figure out a way to secure the camera :-) Would be nice to add a GPS locale in to the footage and connect it up to V-Earth etc..

    Good luck!
    Rob Atkinson

  9. The BeeBeeC no less! I assume they’ll add it to their online broadcast/vlog..? It would be good to pick it up on the .net if I miss the show. Any idea what timeslot?

    I aim to knock up my own vlog soon and do some virtual tours of Ireland from the air and CamCast the footage from my Microlight. Got to figure out a way to secure the camera :-) Would be nice to add a GPS locale in to the footage and connect it up to V-Earth etc..

    Good luck!
    Rob Atkinson

  10. I really wish Jeremy Paxman had grilled you. That would have really been worth watching.

    Maybe you need to be English to appreciate that. Well done anyway.

  11. I really wish Jeremy Paxman had grilled you. That would have really been worth watching.

    Maybe you need to be English to appreciate that. Well done anyway.

  12. I really wish Jeremy Paxman had grilled you. That would have really been worth watching.

    Maybe you need to be English to appreciate that. Well done anyway.

  13. Just watched you on NewsNight. Despite attempts to make it negative, you pulled it round to the positive. I thought you made good points. And you’re a strategist now!

  14. Just watched you on NewsNight. Despite attempts to make it negative, you pulled it round to the positive. I thought you made good points. And you’re a strategist now!

  15. Just watched you on NewsNight. Despite attempts to make it negative, you pulled it round to the positive. I thought you made good points. And you’re a strategist now!

  16. Good to see you on the TV – plus well done for mentioning your Blog :-)

    Not sure whether you managed to say he was the smartest guy you’d met, but you did come over with a number of good responses!

    At one stage i did see a politicians answer, but then, your “opponent” didn’t really provide any concrete evidence from his dealings (if any) with the man.

    Thanks – hope we see you again as an MVP when you’ve left Microsoft

    Glyn Simpson
    Money MVP
    http://money.mvps.org

  17. Good to see you on the TV – plus well done for mentioning your Blog :-)

    Not sure whether you managed to say he was the smartest guy you’d met, but you did come over with a number of good responses!

    At one stage i did see a politicians answer, but then, your “opponent” didn’t really provide any concrete evidence from his dealings (if any) with the man.

    Thanks – hope we see you again as an MVP when you’ve left Microsoft

    Glyn Simpson
    Money MVP
    http://money.mvps.org

  18. Good to see you on the TV – plus well done for mentioning your Blog :-)

    Not sure whether you managed to say he was the smartest guy you’d met, but you did come over with a number of good responses!

    At one stage i did see a politicians answer, but then, your “opponent” didn’t really provide any concrete evidence from his dealings (if any) with the man.

    Thanks – hope we see you again as an MVP when you’ve left Microsoft

    Glyn Simpson
    Money MVP
    http://money.mvps.org

  19. Robert,

    Just caught you on The Beeb. You looked a bit nervous, just chill-out dude, the UK media isn’t all that bad :-)

    Looking forward to seeing your world CamTour

    Cheers
    Rob Atkinson

  20. Robert,

    Just caught you on The Beeb. You looked a bit nervous, just chill-out dude, the UK media isn’t all that bad :-)

    Looking forward to seeing your world CamTour

    Cheers
    Rob Atkinson

  21. Robert,

    Just caught you on The Beeb. You looked a bit nervous, just chill-out dude, the UK media isn’t all that bad :-)

    Looking forward to seeing your world CamTour

    Cheers
    Rob Atkinson

  22. How embarrassing. I think prolific bloggers have spent so much time thinking about the ‘new media’ that they can’t handle the ‘old media’. You came across as shifty, insincere and of having a lack of sense of reality – these comments from my wife. You didn’t answer any direct question, you avoided looking into the camera, and the other old guy walked all over you and Microsoft. Granted, the programme was biased before you began, what with the guy with the more ‘reliable’ Linux laptop (that we never saw any evidence of any type of OS running on btw) yet nobody asked Microsoft for their viewpoint on the situation.

    According to the interview, you have ‘lunch with geek friends’ and ‘blog about it’. So this is what the normal person in the UK thinks that a Microsoft ‘strategist’ does. Hmmmm.

    Considering your resignation was on the BBC technology site only a few days ago, whose dumb idea was it to have the same person acting as an official spokesman on a national programme? To any semi-observant IT person, this looks like our right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. We should have had a well respected EMEA VP like NeilHo on there, not a marketing guy from Redmond.

    I work for the same company as you, with a very similar job role, but it looks like we’re in different universes.

  23. How embarrassing. I think prolific bloggers have spent so much time thinking about the ‘new media’ that they can’t handle the ‘old media’. You came across as shifty, insincere and of having a lack of sense of reality – these comments from my wife. You didn’t answer any direct question, you avoided looking into the camera, and the other old guy walked all over you and Microsoft. Granted, the programme was biased before you began, what with the guy with the more ‘reliable’ Linux laptop (that we never saw any evidence of any type of OS running on btw) yet nobody asked Microsoft for their viewpoint on the situation.

    According to the interview, you have ‘lunch with geek friends’ and ‘blog about it’. So this is what the normal person in the UK thinks that a Microsoft ‘strategist’ does. Hmmmm.

    Considering your resignation was on the BBC technology site only a few days ago, whose dumb idea was it to have the same person acting as an official spokesman on a national programme? To any semi-observant IT person, this looks like our right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. We should have had a well respected EMEA VP like NeilHo on there, not a marketing guy from Redmond.

    I work for the same company as you, with a very similar job role, but it looks like we’re in different universes.

  24. How embarrassing. I think prolific bloggers have spent so much time thinking about the ‘new media’ that they can’t handle the ‘old media’. You came across as shifty, insincere and of having a lack of sense of reality – these comments from my wife. You didn’t answer any direct question, you avoided looking into the camera, and the other old guy walked all over you and Microsoft. Granted, the programme was biased before you began, what with the guy with the more ‘reliable’ Linux laptop (that we never saw any evidence of any type of OS running on btw) yet nobody asked Microsoft for their viewpoint on the situation.

    According to the interview, you have ‘lunch with geek friends’ and ‘blog about it’. So this is what the normal person in the UK thinks that a Microsoft ‘strategist’ does. Hmmmm.

    Considering your resignation was on the BBC technology site only a few days ago, whose dumb idea was it to have the same person acting as an official spokesman on a national programme? To any semi-observant IT person, this looks like our right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. We should have had a well respected EMEA VP like NeilHo on there, not a marketing guy from Redmond.

    I work for the same company as you, with a very similar job role, but it looks like we’re in different universes.

  25. Hey, you came across well Robert… Very cool to see a face like that on TV speaking for the company. You didn’t come come across as Corporate Drone #8456345 and thank heavens for that. It would have been dreadful to see somebody like the previously mentioned individual representing Microsoft in that particular instance. Microsoft was founded by one of the biggest geeks in history, is run by geeks at the top and it’s infinitely more appropriate to see a fellow geek talking about BillG rather than a sales drone. The geeks and the sales drones need each other, but we so rarely see the former on TV :-) Kudos!

  26. Hey, you came across well Robert… Very cool to see a face like that on TV speaking for the company. You didn’t come come across as Corporate Drone #8456345 and thank heavens for that. It would have been dreadful to see somebody like the previously mentioned individual representing Microsoft in that particular instance. Microsoft was founded by one of the biggest geeks in history, is run by geeks at the top and it’s infinitely more appropriate to see a fellow geek talking about BillG rather than a sales drone. The geeks and the sales drones need each other, but we so rarely see the former on TV :-) Kudos!

  27. Hey, you came across well Robert… Very cool to see a face like that on TV speaking for the company. You didn’t come come across as Corporate Drone #8456345 and thank heavens for that. It would have been dreadful to see somebody like the previously mentioned individual representing Microsoft in that particular instance. Microsoft was founded by one of the biggest geeks in history, is run by geeks at the top and it’s infinitely more appropriate to see a fellow geek talking about BillG rather than a sales drone. The geeks and the sales drones need each other, but we so rarely see the former on TV :-) Kudos!

  28. Daz: the BBC asked me because 1) I was available. 2) They don’t trust anyone that PR shoves in front of them. 3) They figured I’d tell the truth cause I’m leaving here anyway.

    As to talking to the camera. It was a plate on the wall. I couldn’t see the other people, nor could I see the video that played before me. And, I was expecting an ambush based on what I could hear. I was just trying to answer the questions as well as I could.

    You try talking to a plate on the wall and being sincere and engaging. It isn’t easy.

    Oh, and I’ve met MANY times more Microsoft employees than any EMEA VP. Sorry for being arrogant there, but ask around.

    Thanks Jerry and Pete for the support.

  29. Daz: the BBC asked me because 1) I was available. 2) They don’t trust anyone that PR shoves in front of them. 3) They figured I’d tell the truth cause I’m leaving here anyway.

    As to talking to the camera. It was a plate on the wall. I couldn’t see the other people, nor could I see the video that played before me. And, I was expecting an ambush based on what I could hear. I was just trying to answer the questions as well as I could.

    You try talking to a plate on the wall and being sincere and engaging. It isn’t easy.

    Oh, and I’ve met MANY times more Microsoft employees than any EMEA VP. Sorry for being arrogant there, but ask around.

    Thanks Jerry and Pete for the support.

  30. Daz: the BBC asked me because 1) I was available. 2) They don’t trust anyone that PR shoves in front of them. 3) They figured I’d tell the truth cause I’m leaving here anyway.

    As to talking to the camera. It was a plate on the wall. I couldn’t see the other people, nor could I see the video that played before me. And, I was expecting an ambush based on what I could hear. I was just trying to answer the questions as well as I could.

    You try talking to a plate on the wall and being sincere and engaging. It isn’t easy.

    Oh, and I’ve met MANY times more Microsoft employees than any EMEA VP. Sorry for being arrogant there, but ask around.

    Thanks Jerry and Pete for the support.

  31. Robert – I take your point on why you ended up on the BBC. That makes sense. As does your reason why it looked like your eyes were darting into corners. So in that respect I apologise for being harsh.

    I still don’t buy fully into the “I was available” bit. We have 60+K FTE’s, so availability isn’t a big issue. I maintain that interviewing someone who is very publicly leaving reduces the credibility of your arguments on the programme.

    And we’ll have to agree to disagree on how many people you have met compared to some VPs. They’re not all guys who sit in their isolated worlds you know. I know one senior guy who had over 60 1:1′s with employees at all levels in the past week – and these were meaningful meetings, not just palm-pressing exercises. Consider you have a tenure of c.3 years as opposed to some people who have over 20 and I don’t think you can say you are more in touch with the grassroots than all VP’s for definite.

  32. Robert – I take your point on why you ended up on the BBC. That makes sense. As does your reason why it looked like your eyes were darting into corners. So in that respect I apologise for being harsh.

    I still don’t buy fully into the “I was available” bit. We have 60+K FTE’s, so availability isn’t a big issue. I maintain that interviewing someone who is very publicly leaving reduces the credibility of your arguments on the programme.

    And we’ll have to agree to disagree on how many people you have met compared to some VPs. They’re not all guys who sit in their isolated worlds you know. I know one senior guy who had over 60 1:1′s with employees at all levels in the past week – and these were meaningful meetings, not just palm-pressing exercises. Consider you have a tenure of c.3 years as opposed to some people who have over 20 and I don’t think you can say you are more in touch with the grassroots than all VP’s for definite.

  33. Robert – I take your point on why you ended up on the BBC. That makes sense. As does your reason why it looked like your eyes were darting into corners. So in that respect I apologise for being harsh.

    I still don’t buy fully into the “I was available” bit. We have 60+K FTE’s, so availability isn’t a big issue. I maintain that interviewing someone who is very publicly leaving reduces the credibility of your arguments on the programme.

    And we’ll have to agree to disagree on how many people you have met compared to some VPs. They’re not all guys who sit in their isolated worlds you know. I know one senior guy who had over 60 1:1′s with employees at all levels in the past week – and these were meaningful meetings, not just palm-pressing exercises. Consider you have a tenure of c.3 years as opposed to some people who have over 20 and I don’t think you can say you are more in touch with the grassroots than all VP’s for definite.

  34. You do realize that Microsoft employees have rules against speaking to the press, right (I think that rule is stupid, by the way, in today's world)? That means that any employee would have had to have gotten through Microsoft's PR department. Not to mention that for most employees being on the BBC makes their coworkers jealous and creates career distortions that aren't very helpful. Oh, and speaking of all that, which employees have their cell phones on their blog? Do you know what time the BBC called me to be on the show? 5 a.m. — the PR team hadn't even woken up yet. So, that could explain a lot more.

    VPs don't go on air without consulting PR teams. Why did I get noticed at Microsoft? Cause I didn't wait for committees to make their decisions about things.

    Since I'm a shorttimer here I didn't need to call the PR team and wait for their answer while they called around to someone else.

  35. You do realize that Microsoft employees have rules against speaking to the press, right (I think that rule is stupid, by the way, in today's world)? That means that any employee would have had to have gotten through Microsoft's PR department. Not to mention that for most employees being on the BBC makes their coworkers jealous and creates career distortions that aren't very helpful. Oh, and speaking of all that, which employees have their cell phones on their blog? Do you know what time the BBC called me to be on the show? 5 a.m. — the PR team hadn't even woken up yet. So, that could explain a lot more.

    VPs don't go on air without consulting PR teams. Why did I get noticed at Microsoft? Cause I didn't wait for committees to make their decisions about things.

    Since I'm a shorttimer here I didn't need to call the PR team and wait for their answer while they called around to someone else.

  36. You do realize that Microsoft employees have rules against speaking to the press, right (I think that rule is stupid, by the way, in today's world)? That means that any employee would have had to have gotten through Microsoft's PR department. Not to mention that for most employees being on the BBC makes their coworkers jealous and creates career distortions that aren't very helpful. Oh, and speaking of all that, which employees have their cell phones on their blog? Do you know what time the BBC called me to be on the show? 5 a.m. — the PR team hadn't even woken up yet. So, that could explain a lot more.

    VPs don't go on air without consulting PR teams. Why did I get noticed at Microsoft? Cause I didn't wait for committees to make their decisions about things.

    Since I'm a shorttimer here I didn't need to call the PR team and wait for their answer while they called around to someone else.

  37. As to credibility, why would my arguments go down? In fact, wouldn’t I have even LESS incentive now to say something nice about Microsoft? Usually leaving employees gripe about their employers and don’t praise them. If anything my situation should ADD weight to my words.

  38. As to credibility, why would my arguments go down? In fact, wouldn’t I have even LESS incentive now to say something nice about Microsoft? Usually leaving employees gripe about their employers and don’t praise them. If anything my situation should ADD weight to my words.

  39. As to credibility, why would my arguments go down? In fact, wouldn’t I have even LESS incentive now to say something nice about Microsoft? Usually leaving employees gripe about their employers and don’t praise them. If anything my situation should ADD weight to my words.

  40. Hey Robert,
    Caught you’re interview on Newsnight. Can’t believe you were talking to a plate on the wall without video feedback. Well done! Bill’s announcement of his new career direction came as a suprise, but what do you mean you’re leaving anyway? If you are leaving Microsoft a lot of us Apple/Blog Geeks are going to be dissapointed. Your BS-less approach to calling it as you see it has been a bright light in the world of PR darkness. Big regards from eveyone at Tipperary Institute in Ireland!!!
    Best Wishes…
    Sean

  41. Hey Robert,
    Caught you’re interview on Newsnight. Can’t believe you were talking to a plate on the wall without video feedback. Well done! Bill’s announcement of his new career direction came as a suprise, but what do you mean you’re leaving anyway? If you are leaving Microsoft a lot of us Apple/Blog Geeks are going to be dissapointed. Your BS-less approach to calling it as you see it has been a bright light in the world of PR darkness. Big regards from eveyone at Tipperary Institute in Ireland!!!
    Best Wishes…
    Sean

  42. Hey Robert,
    Caught you’re interview on Newsnight. Can’t believe you were talking to a plate on the wall without video feedback. Well done! Bill’s announcement of his new career direction came as a suprise, but what do you mean you’re leaving anyway? If you are leaving Microsoft a lot of us Apple/Blog Geeks are going to be dissapointed. Your BS-less approach to calling it as you see it has been a bright light in the world of PR darkness. Big regards from eveyone at Tipperary Institute in Ireland!!!
    Best Wishes…
    Sean

  43. Robert, chill, it’s fine. The other guy couldn’t find a lot to criticise, and you came across as reasonably relaxed & cheerful, despite the satellite latency that can often make the remote interviewee look stupid.

    99.999% of the audience wouldn’t know – nor care less – whether you were a MSFT exec or whatever.

    If this was set up to be a ‘hard’ piece it failed; just a harmless few minutes on which only the most anal would want to waste time in forensic disection.

  44. Robert, chill, it’s fine. The other guy couldn’t find a lot to criticise, and you came across as reasonably relaxed & cheerful, despite the satellite latency that can often make the remote interviewee look stupid.

    99.999% of the audience wouldn’t know – nor care less – whether you were a MSFT exec or whatever.

    If this was set up to be a ‘hard’ piece it failed; just a harmless few minutes on which only the most anal would want to waste time in forensic disection.

  45. Robert, chill, it’s fine. The other guy couldn’t find a lot to criticise, and you came across as reasonably relaxed & cheerful, despite the satellite latency that can often make the remote interviewee look stupid.

    99.999% of the audience wouldn’t know – nor care less – whether you were a MSFT exec or whatever.

    If this was set up to be a ‘hard’ piece it failed; just a harmless few minutes on which only the most anal would want to waste time in forensic disection.

  46. You were obviously there as a well known Microsoft-centric commentator, well placed to provide valuable input into a discussion on Bill Gates place in history, which after all was what the news feature was about.

    Overall a very good perspective piece which managed to cover a lot of IT issues for the non-techy without being particularly biased one way or the other. And I really enjoyed your contribution Robert; thanks for doing the programme.

  47. You were obviously there as a well known Microsoft-centric commentator, well placed to provide valuable input into a discussion on Bill Gates place in history, which after all was what the news feature was about.

    Overall a very good perspective piece which managed to cover a lot of IT issues for the non-techy without being particularly biased one way or the other. And I really enjoyed your contribution Robert; thanks for doing the programme.

  48. You were obviously there as a well known Microsoft-centric commentator, well placed to provide valuable input into a discussion on Bill Gates place in history, which after all was what the news feature was about.

    Overall a very good perspective piece which managed to cover a lot of IT issues for the non-techy without being particularly biased one way or the other. And I really enjoyed your contribution Robert; thanks for doing the programme.

  49. Two questions. 1- Is this BBC interview up on any of the video sites yet? 2. Did you really have a meeting scheduled for “six minutes”- that wasn’t as an employee was it?

  50. Two questions. 1- Is this BBC interview up on any of the video sites yet? 2. Did you really have a meeting scheduled for “six minutes”- that wasn’t as an employee was it?

  51. Two questions. 1- Is this BBC interview up on any of the video sites yet? 2. Did you really have a meeting scheduled for “six minutes”- that wasn’t as an employee was it?

  52. @20 As understand it, you are going to be a VP in your new job? You should learn to take criticism a lot better than that.

  53. @20 As understand it, you are going to be a VP in your new job? You should learn to take criticism a lot better than that.

  54. @20 As understand it, you are going to be a VP in your new job? You should learn to take criticism a lot better than that.

  55. Your original note made me think of the time I was walking out of the largest US Auto insurer and discovered I was chatting with an IBM Global Services guy – sort of felt like the sheep dog talking to the Coyote in a cartoon at the end of the day – and he said they had 300 people on their account team. Microsoft had 12. I realized that the reason I felt like there were always 5 IBM people in every meeting I was in trying to push Lotus Notes or other IBM software was because there WERE 5 IBM people in every meeting.

    Microsoft goes up against the best in the business with fewer resources and because of better preparation wins. That energy has certainly dipped somewhat but the type of people who win in those situations are still there – although there are far too many ‘Daz’s’ there now – people who talk about a VP having 1:1s with 60 people internally. How about talking to customers and fighting off external threats?

  56. Your original note made me think of the time I was walking out of the largest US Auto insurer and discovered I was chatting with an IBM Global Services guy – sort of felt like the sheep dog talking to the Coyote in a cartoon at the end of the day – and he said they had 300 people on their account team. Microsoft had 12. I realized that the reason I felt like there were always 5 IBM people in every meeting I was in trying to push Lotus Notes or other IBM software was because there WERE 5 IBM people in every meeting.

    Microsoft goes up against the best in the business with fewer resources and because of better preparation wins. That energy has certainly dipped somewhat but the type of people who win in those situations are still there – although there are far too many ‘Daz’s’ there now – people who talk about a VP having 1:1s with 60 people internally. How about talking to customers and fighting off external threats?

  57. Your original note made me think of the time I was walking out of the largest US Auto insurer and discovered I was chatting with an IBM Global Services guy – sort of felt like the sheep dog talking to the Coyote in a cartoon at the end of the day – and he said they had 300 people on their account team. Microsoft had 12. I realized that the reason I felt like there were always 5 IBM people in every meeting I was in trying to push Lotus Notes or other IBM software was because there WERE 5 IBM people in every meeting.

    Microsoft goes up against the best in the business with fewer resources and because of better preparation wins. That energy has certainly dipped somewhat but the type of people who win in those situations are still there – although there are far too many ‘Daz’s’ there now – people who talk about a VP having 1:1s with 60 people internally. How about talking to customers and fighting off external threats?

  58. Robert, that’s notoriously the toughest gig on TV. You were lucky to get Gavin Essler, he’s a breeze compared with Jeremy Paxman.

    I thought the whole piece (about 2/3 of the programme) was generally pro-Gates, though always looking for some edge on Microsoft. Irwin Steltzer was his usual eloquent self on the economic liberalism he writes about so well. You came across as less sure of the medium (blogging doesn’t always translate directly onto TV) but sure of your topic. Strange they billed you as a Microsoft “Strategist” and didn’t mention you were halfway out the door.

    But good to see you on TV in England. Hey, get the BBC to let you do a documentary on the Silicon Valley/blogging scene. That would be a better platform.

  59. Robert, that’s notoriously the toughest gig on TV. You were lucky to get Gavin Essler, he’s a breeze compared with Jeremy Paxman.

    I thought the whole piece (about 2/3 of the programme) was generally pro-Gates, though always looking for some edge on Microsoft. Irwin Steltzer was his usual eloquent self on the economic liberalism he writes about so well. You came across as less sure of the medium (blogging doesn’t always translate directly onto TV) but sure of your topic. Strange they billed you as a Microsoft “Strategist” and didn’t mention you were halfway out the door.

    But good to see you on TV in England. Hey, get the BBC to let you do a documentary on the Silicon Valley/blogging scene. That would be a better platform.

  60. Robert, that’s notoriously the toughest gig on TV. You were lucky to get Gavin Essler, he’s a breeze compared with Jeremy Paxman.

    I thought the whole piece (about 2/3 of the programme) was generally pro-Gates, though always looking for some edge on Microsoft. Irwin Steltzer was his usual eloquent self on the economic liberalism he writes about so well. You came across as less sure of the medium (blogging doesn’t always translate directly onto TV) but sure of your topic. Strange they billed you as a Microsoft “Strategist” and didn’t mention you were halfway out the door.

    But good to see you on TV in England. Hey, get the BBC to let you do a documentary on the Silicon Valley/blogging scene. That would be a better platform.

  61. We’re a long way from the Bill Gates obituary……

    Matthew Ingram has written a thoughtful analysis about what the Bill Gates announcement really means and comes to the conclusion: not very much! I can see his point; nothing is going to really change for the next two years, the announcement has had z…..

  62. Robert,

    I thought you came over well on a program that was biased from the start… headed with interview with some *nix geek with no credentials and a reporter without a clue.

    I think Daz and is missus watched another show altogether…!

  63. Robert,

    I thought you came over well on a program that was biased from the start… headed with interview with some *nix geek with no credentials and a reporter without a clue.

    I think Daz and is missus watched another show altogether…!

  64. Robert,

    I thought you came over well on a program that was biased from the start… headed with interview with some *nix geek with no credentials and a reporter without a clue.

    I think Daz and is missus watched another show altogether…!

  65. I thought Scoble was articulate and came across as honest, and the comment from ‘Daz’ was juvenile, sneering and unperceptive. Perhaps that’s why he’s anonymous.

    In this trained-media age, articulacy is what counts. ‘Darting eyes’ are simply the video equivalent of typoes. Nowadays I don’t trust someone who answers questions with a fixed stare, nor someone who comments in anonymity.

  66. I thought Scoble was articulate and came across as honest, and the comment from ‘Daz’ was juvenile, sneering and unperceptive. Perhaps that’s why he’s anonymous.

    In this trained-media age, articulacy is what counts. ‘Darting eyes’ are simply the video equivalent of typoes. Nowadays I don’t trust someone who answers questions with a fixed stare, nor someone who comments in anonymity.

  67. I thought Scoble was articulate and came across as honest, and the comment from ‘Daz’ was juvenile, sneering and unperceptive. Perhaps that’s why he’s anonymous.

    In this trained-media age, articulacy is what counts. ‘Darting eyes’ are simply the video equivalent of typoes. Nowadays I don’t trust someone who answers questions with a fixed stare, nor someone who comments in anonymity.

  68. I watched the program live and agree 100% with Daz. Unfortunately it appeared you were too preoccupied in talking about the (only) 3 meetings you had with Bill and the number of questions he asks in (all of) 7 minutes. The other chap (a respected broadsheet newspaper columnist) seemed to have a much better handle on the historical context, which was all the interviewer was after.

  69. I watched the program live and agree 100% with Daz. Unfortunately it appeared you were too preoccupied in talking about the (only) 3 meetings you had with Bill and the number of questions he asks in (all of) 7 minutes. The other chap (a respected broadsheet newspaper columnist) seemed to have a much better handle on the historical context, which was all the interviewer was after.

  70. I watched the program live and agree 100% with Daz. Unfortunately it appeared you were too preoccupied in talking about the (only) 3 meetings you had with Bill and the number of questions he asks in (all of) 7 minutes. The other chap (a respected broadsheet newspaper columnist) seemed to have a much better handle on the historical context, which was all the interviewer was after.

  71. [...] Appearing on the BBC’s flagship late night political commentary programme, Newsnight, Robert put up a stout defence of the man he clearly admires a lot. Steltzer was less sanguine, choosing to bounce the topic off his well-known stance on economic liberalism. Both men made excellent contributions and, since they weren’t totally opposing each other (a common BBC tactic), an interesting exchange of views took place. [...]

  72. The BBC takes the idea of playing Devil’s Advocate in interviews to extreme and counter-productive lengths. Most of the BBC people who write scripts or appear on camera appear to be die-hard loony lefties. Their very tone of voice, sneeering and supercilious, gets on one’s tits. If anything good happens in the entire West, or the West is successful at anything, BBC types snarl with incandescent fury. I have met a few, and I once did Community Service or Job Opportunity or whatever it was called, at a local. I have been interviewed a bit but in a friendly way because the subject was politically neutral. Richard Dimbleby, when I was 8, in 1948, on Down Your Way, was a dear soul not long out of War reporting from bomber and Belsen, but aside form him, I do not like them. cyquick.wordpress.com

  73. The BBC takes the idea of playing Devil’s Advocate in interviews to extreme and counter-productive lengths. Most of the BBC people who write scripts or appear on camera appear to be die-hard loony lefties. Their very tone of voice, sneeering and supercilious, gets on one’s tits. If anything good happens in the entire West, or the West is successful at anything, BBC types snarl with incandescent fury. I have met a few, and I once did Community Service or Job Opportunity or whatever it was called, at a local. I have been interviewed a bit but in a friendly way because the subject was politically neutral. Richard Dimbleby, when I was 8, in 1948, on Down Your Way, was a dear soul not long out of War reporting from bomber and Belsen, but aside form him, I do not like them. cyquick.wordpress.com

  74. The BBC takes the idea of playing Devil’s Advocate in interviews to extreme and counter-productive lengths. Most of the BBC people who write scripts or appear on camera appear to be die-hard loony lefties. Their very tone of voice, sneeering and supercilious, gets on one’s tits. If anything good happens in the entire West, or the West is successful at anything, BBC types snarl with incandescent fury. I have met a few, and I once did Community Service or Job Opportunity or whatever it was called, at a local. I have been interviewed a bit but in a friendly way because the subject was politically neutral. Richard Dimbleby, when I was 8, in 1948, on Down Your Way, was a dear soul not long out of War reporting from bomber and Belsen, but aside form him, I do not like them. cyquick.wordpress.com

  75. Robert Scoble (aka Scobleizer) Bloggs on Gates

    It seems the Big Man has lots of questionsAn interesting snippet from Robert Scoble, until recently working for Microsoft and best known for his blog "Scobleizer", about his first hand impressions of Bill Gates over the two or three times he …

  76. You are a lucky guy to have met Bill once, let alone several times. It would be a great experience. I am lucky to have a world-known CEO as a good family friend and find it very interesting spending time with him, although it would qualify as reasonably intense! Spending time with him over in Detroit was quite an experience – it was a way of life I could get used to!

  77. You are a lucky guy to have met Bill once, let alone several times. It would be a great experience. I am lucky to have a world-known CEO as a good family friend and find it very interesting spending time with him, although it would qualify as reasonably intense! Spending time with him over in Detroit was quite an experience – it was a way of life I could get used to!

  78. You are a lucky guy to have met Bill once, let alone several times. It would be a great experience. I am lucky to have a world-known CEO as a good family friend and find it very interesting spending time with him, although it would qualify as reasonably intense! Spending time with him over in Detroit was quite an experience – it was a way of life I could get used to!

  79. Rob,

    On reflection, you did good, considering you had a blank canvas to interact with. It was a little unfair of the Beeb loading the program with Linux/Anti-compete stuff and having you respond over a lagging link and cutting you short

    They are obviously looking for angles since the two departures. I look forward to you setting the record straight on Microsoft’s so called lack of invention – judging by the multitude of great products they’re just bringing to market, Irwin Steltzer’s comments are unfounded – he’s obviously part the Steve Gilmoor mindset..

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  80. Rob,

    On reflection, you did good, considering you had a blank canvas to interact with. It was a little unfair of the Beeb loading the program with Linux/Anti-compete stuff and having you respond over a lagging link and cutting you short

    They are obviously looking for angles since the two departures. I look forward to you setting the record straight on Microsoft’s so called lack of invention – judging by the multitude of great products they’re just bringing to market, Irwin Steltzer’s comments are unfounded – he’s obviously part the Steve Gilmoor mindset..

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  81. Rob,

    On reflection, you did good, considering you had a blank canvas to interact with. It was a little unfair of the Beeb loading the program with Linux/Anti-compete stuff and having you respond over a lagging link and cutting you short

    They are obviously looking for angles since the two departures. I look forward to you setting the record straight on Microsoft’s so called lack of invention – judging by the multitude of great products they’re just bringing to market, Irwin Steltzer’s comments are unfounded – he’s obviously part the Steve Gilmoor mindset..

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  82. @# 30 – I work with customers, on their sites, 80% of the time. The other 20% I am working with internal people trying to help them see customer perspectives more realistically. I think I have a good handle on what customers want from us and how they see us as a result…

    Whilst the PR team in Redmond wouldn’t have woken up at 5am, the EMEA people would have been well into their lunch so I call bs on that as an excuse why we have a blogger who is about to leave as our global rep, and who didn’t even watch the internal webcasts about the issue.

    My fundamental point is for high profile scenarios like BBC newsnight you better be ready to be 100% on the ball and to fight fire with fire. It looked to me like we were not in the same league as the other guy. I don’t blame Robert for this – I blame our PR people for not being on top of the situation.

  83. @# 30 – I work with customers, on their sites, 80% of the time. The other 20% I am working with internal people trying to help them see customer perspectives more realistically. I think I have a good handle on what customers want from us and how they see us as a result…

    Whilst the PR team in Redmond wouldn’t have woken up at 5am, the EMEA people would have been well into their lunch so I call bs on that as an excuse why we have a blogger who is about to leave as our global rep, and who didn’t even watch the internal webcasts about the issue.

    My fundamental point is for high profile scenarios like BBC newsnight you better be ready to be 100% on the ball and to fight fire with fire. It looked to me like we were not in the same league as the other guy. I don’t blame Robert for this – I blame our PR people for not being on top of the situation.

  84. @# 30 – I work with customers, on their sites, 80% of the time. The other 20% I am working with internal people trying to help them see customer perspectives more realistically. I think I have a good handle on what customers want from us and how they see us as a result…

    Whilst the PR team in Redmond wouldn’t have woken up at 5am, the EMEA people would have been well into their lunch so I call bs on that as an excuse why we have a blogger who is about to leave as our global rep, and who didn’t even watch the internal webcasts about the issue.

    My fundamental point is for high profile scenarios like BBC newsnight you better be ready to be 100% on the ball and to fight fire with fire. It looked to me like we were not in the same league as the other guy. I don’t blame Robert for this – I blame our PR people for not being on top of the situation.

  85. Daz,

    I think you’re mistaken. Scoble’s understated, “I don’t look at it like that” responses to questions were a pretty effective way of dealing with questions about Microsoft’s business practices. A bit of humanity was just what was needed; not “fighting fire with fire” as you suggest. And that’s what Robert delivered.

    The truth is – Microsoft is on shaky ground when it comes to questions relating to its business practices – it keeps getting taken to court by various governments, in case you hadn’t noticed. There’s no getting away from this; and trust me, some semi-slick, smart-ass executive going on TV and bleating denials/spinning BS won’t do the company any favours. I really hope MS has learnt something from Robert during his time at the company.

  86. Daz,

    I think you’re mistaken. Scoble’s understated, “I don’t look at it like that” responses to questions were a pretty effective way of dealing with questions about Microsoft’s business practices. A bit of humanity was just what was needed; not “fighting fire with fire” as you suggest. And that’s what Robert delivered.

    The truth is – Microsoft is on shaky ground when it comes to questions relating to its business practices – it keeps getting taken to court by various governments, in case you hadn’t noticed. There’s no getting away from this; and trust me, some semi-slick, smart-ass executive going on TV and bleating denials/spinning BS won’t do the company any favours. I really hope MS has learnt something from Robert during his time at the company.

  87. Daz,

    I think you’re mistaken. Scoble’s understated, “I don’t look at it like that” responses to questions were a pretty effective way of dealing with questions about Microsoft’s business practices. A bit of humanity was just what was needed; not “fighting fire with fire” as you suggest. And that’s what Robert delivered.

    The truth is – Microsoft is on shaky ground when it comes to questions relating to its business practices – it keeps getting taken to court by various governments, in case you hadn’t noticed. There’s no getting away from this; and trust me, some semi-slick, smart-ass executive going on TV and bleating denials/spinning BS won’t do the company any favours. I really hope MS has learnt something from Robert during his time at the company.

  88. I guess I can understand why somebody involved with interacting with customers would think Robert’s appearance wasn’t the best. He didn’t exactly look like the typical PR-polished spokesperson. But that’s cool, because in that situation he was perfect. The audience for the programme wasn’t Microsoft’s customers or people interested in Exchange, SQL or what have you. This was a very brief discussion about Bill Gates on the day that one of the world’s most famous geeks said he was moving on from one of the world’s most famous companies. I was so pleased to see somebody like Robert on TV speaking for my company and I believe that in a situation like that somebody like Robert is far, far more appropriate than a typical bland, generic, stay-on-message-stay-on-message, godawful PR spokesperson.

  89. I guess I can understand why somebody involved with interacting with customers would think Robert’s appearance wasn’t the best. He didn’t exactly look like the typical PR-polished spokesperson. But that’s cool, because in that situation he was perfect. The audience for the programme wasn’t Microsoft’s customers or people interested in Exchange, SQL or what have you. This was a very brief discussion about Bill Gates on the day that one of the world’s most famous geeks said he was moving on from one of the world’s most famous companies. I was so pleased to see somebody like Robert on TV speaking for my company and I believe that in a situation like that somebody like Robert is far, far more appropriate than a typical bland, generic, stay-on-message-stay-on-message, godawful PR spokesperson.

  90. I guess I can understand why somebody involved with interacting with customers would think Robert’s appearance wasn’t the best. He didn’t exactly look like the typical PR-polished spokesperson. But that’s cool, because in that situation he was perfect. The audience for the programme wasn’t Microsoft’s customers or people interested in Exchange, SQL or what have you. This was a very brief discussion about Bill Gates on the day that one of the world’s most famous geeks said he was moving on from one of the world’s most famous companies. I was so pleased to see somebody like Robert on TV speaking for my company and I believe that in a situation like that somebody like Robert is far, far more appropriate than a typical bland, generic, stay-on-message-stay-on-message, godawful PR spokesperson.

  91. Totally agree with Pete’s comment. We ‘need’ more people like Rob working for MS. When I saw Rob put the camera on Steve and Bill during his Channel9 interview on Friday, I got to hear the same old rhetoric that Steve gives out, and then watched Bill do the same without looking directly into the camera. I glimpsed for a second the real Bill before he switched into PR mode. We need more self effacement and less corp. PR – that’s why people warm instantly to the likes of Rob

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  92. Totally agree with Pete’s comment. We ‘need’ more people like Rob working for MS. When I saw Rob put the camera on Steve and Bill during his Channel9 interview on Friday, I got to hear the same old rhetoric that Steve gives out, and then watched Bill do the same without looking directly into the camera. I glimpsed for a second the real Bill before he switched into PR mode. We need more self effacement and less corp. PR – that’s why people warm instantly to the likes of Rob

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  93. Totally agree with Pete’s comment. We ‘need’ more people like Rob working for MS. When I saw Rob put the camera on Steve and Bill during his Channel9 interview on Friday, I got to hear the same old rhetoric that Steve gives out, and then watched Bill do the same without looking directly into the camera. I glimpsed for a second the real Bill before he switched into PR mode. We need more self effacement and less corp. PR – that’s why people warm instantly to the likes of Rob

    Rob Atkinson
    Kilkenny, Ireland

  94. Plus, the whole of Newsnight’s audience understand that Microsoft is an American company and that Gates is an American citizen. Hence Robert made a much more appropriate spokesperson that some anonoymous EAME droid with the ‘wrong’ accent.

    When you need to make excuses for the Xbox 360 UK rollout cockup then roll out NeilHo by all means,but otherwise on a major US-centric story such as this EAME doesn’t really matter.

  95. Plus, the whole of Newsnight’s audience understand that Microsoft is an American company and that Gates is an American citizen. Hence Robert made a much more appropriate spokesperson that some anonoymous EAME droid with the ‘wrong’ accent.

    When you need to make excuses for the Xbox 360 UK rollout cockup then roll out NeilHo by all means,but otherwise on a major US-centric story such as this EAME doesn’t really matter.

  96. Plus, the whole of Newsnight’s audience understand that Microsoft is an American company and that Gates is an American citizen. Hence Robert made a much more appropriate spokesperson that some anonoymous EAME droid with the ‘wrong’ accent.

    When you need to make excuses for the Xbox 360 UK launch cockup then roll out NeilHo by all means, but otherwise – on a significant US-focused story such as this – EAME doesn’t really count.

  97. Plus, the whole of Newsnight’s audience understand that Microsoft is an American company and that Gates is an American citizen. Hence Robert made a much more appropriate spokesperson that some anonoymous EAME droid with the ‘wrong’ accent.

    When you need to make excuses for the Xbox 360 UK launch cockup then roll out NeilHo by all means, but otherwise – on a significant US-focused story such as this – EAME doesn’t really count.

  98. Folks can judge how well Reobert did by checking out the Newsnight program. I took the liberty of producing a TinyURL – http://tinyurl.com/s9bhw – to the video stream. Not tested on anything other than my iBook so hopefully it’ll work out OK for the rest of you.

    Duncan
    Dunbar, Scotland

  99. Folks can judge how well Reobert did by checking out the Newsnight program. I took the liberty of producing a TinyURL – http://tinyurl.com/s9bhw – to the video stream. Not tested on anything other than my iBook so hopefully it’ll work out OK for the rest of you.

    Duncan
    Dunbar, Scotland

  100. sorry for beeing refused the pingback because of the gfw, from china. Good choise from BG, and the same as you said, he just be the most telant man who both of us have met before.

  101. sorry for beeing refused the pingback because of the gfw, from china. Good choise from BG, and the same as you said, he just be the most telant man who both of us have met before.

  102. @47. I don’t think Daz was asking for a PR hack. The BEEB wanted someone with insight on Gates so they chose a blogger that is leaving the company? And a blogger that by his own admission has only had 3 meetings with Gates in his 3 years at MS. And all of those scheduled? Are you telling me that of the 60,000 people employed at MS that a more knowledable and experienced person, someone that had had more than 3 meetings with Gates and more than 3 years experience at Microsoft couldn’t have been found?. I’m not blaming Scoble. From what I can tell he would sell his soul for such publicity. I just don’t find it credible that Scoble is the most insightful or knowledgable person they could have found.

  103. @47. I don’t think Daz was asking for a PR hack. The BEEB wanted someone with insight on Gates so they chose a blogger that is leaving the company? And a blogger that by his own admission has only had 3 meetings with Gates in his 3 years at MS. And all of those scheduled? Are you telling me that of the 60,000 people employed at MS that a more knowledable and experienced person, someone that had had more than 3 meetings with Gates and more than 3 years experience at Microsoft couldn’t have been found?. I’m not blaming Scoble. From what I can tell he would sell his soul for such publicity. I just don’t find it credible that Scoble is the most insightful or knowledgable person they could have found.

  104. I can’t wait for you to leave MS and become part of the real world again. I would love to see how you blog on MS affairs in the years to come.

    Seriously.

  105. I can’t wait for you to leave MS and become part of the real world again. I would love to see how you blog on MS affairs in the years to come.

    Seriously.

  106. I didn’t get to see the interview the first time around and managed to screw up my TiVo settings so I didn’t record it, either. Too bad, because it sounds like it was an interesting show!

  107. I didn’t get to see the interview the first time around and managed to screw up my TiVo settings so I didn’t record it, either. Too bad, because it sounds like it was an interesting show!

  108. Yeah, no ego, just the facts to make an informed decision, a good listener. Sorry I missed your appearance on TV, would have watched if I had known as I’ve been following your blog lately but to little time, work has cut in to my private life quite a bit – seems to have a habit of doing that. Mick http://rockwatching.wordpress.com

  109. Yeah, no ego, just the facts to make an informed decision, a good listener. Sorry I missed your appearance on TV, would have watched if I had known as I’ve been following your blog lately but to little time, work has cut in to my private life quite a bit – seems to have a habit of doing that. Mick http://rockwatching.wordpress.com

  110. Re: Daz. As usual, Robert’s harshest criticism comes from a non-blogger. They can dish it out but don’t feel the need to take it themselves. Makes me sick.

    I thought you did fine, Robert. Rock on.

  111. Re: Daz. As usual, Robert’s harshest criticism comes from a non-blogger. They can dish it out but don’t feel the need to take it themselves. Makes me sick.

    I thought you did fine, Robert. Rock on.

  112. >The BEEB wanted someone with insight on Gates so they chose a blogger that is leaving the company?

    I assume I was picked because I interviewed more than 700 Microsoft employees internally and knew the management team around Gates (I interviewed Gates’ Technical Assistant on Tuesday, for instance).

    But, really, it’s hard to get people to agree to come on camera. The chances you’ll “break into jail” are quite high in such a situation, particularly when they are asking questions about Microsoft’s monopoly status. So, most execs will turn down those kinds of interview requests.

  113. >The BEEB wanted someone with insight on Gates so they chose a blogger that is leaving the company?

    I assume I was picked because I interviewed more than 700 Microsoft employees internally and knew the management team around Gates (I interviewed Gates’ Technical Assistant on Tuesday, for instance).

    But, really, it’s hard to get people to agree to come on camera. The chances you’ll “break into jail” are quite high in such a situation, particularly when they are asking questions about Microsoft’s monopoly status. So, most execs will turn down those kinds of interview requests.

  114. @63. Where did I suggest they get an exec? You’re not exec, right? I simply suggested they could have found someone with more insight on Bill Gates and more experience at Microsoft than a regular employee with 3 years tenure and having only had 3 staged meetings with Gates, that’s all. I gotta believe there was someone in the UK with even much more insight on Gates than you have. And someone more in tune with the BEEB’s audience as well. Didn’t have to be an exec. And for that matter you are still an employee, right? So you can still break into jail just as easily as any other MS employee/exec. I’m not sure the US laws make that fine a distinction.

  115. @63. Where did I suggest they get an exec? You’re not exec, right? I simply suggested they could have found someone with more insight on Bill Gates and more experience at Microsoft than a regular employee with 3 years tenure and having only had 3 staged meetings with Gates, that’s all. I gotta believe there was someone in the UK with even much more insight on Gates than you have. And someone more in tune with the BEEB’s audience as well. Didn’t have to be an exec. And for that matter you are still an employee, right? So you can still break into jail just as easily as any other MS employee/exec. I’m not sure the US laws make that fine a distinction.

  116. Elvis: I’m not an exec.

    My three meetings were not staged.

    It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s over now. Next!

    But, if any Microsoft employee wants to get into that position, I’d recommend putting their cell phone number on their blog. In reality that’s why I got invited.

  117. Elvis: I’m not an exec.

    My three meetings were not staged.

    It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s over now. Next!

    But, if any Microsoft employee wants to get into that position, I’d recommend putting their cell phone number on their blog. In reality that’s why I got invited.

  118. [...] So Bill Gates is stepping down.  In amongst the deluge of articles posted about this was a nice little story from scoble about how smart the man is.  He also linked to something that I’d flagged to look at – a story from Joel Spolsky about his first ever BillG review. [...]