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Chapter 46. watch Bill

You could say that gen e all began with Bill Gates. Gates may not be everybody's favourite guy. He may not even be close. But Gates it was who started the gen e revolution. He was the first, and for the time being at least remains the most powerful, of the cyber-entrepreneurs. His significance does not lie in the amount of money he has made for himself and many others. Bill Gates is significant because he was an entrepreneurial throwback.

Think of the great CEOs of the 1970s and 1980s. This is difficult. Not many stay in the mind. Harold Geneen at ITT perhaps. Lee Iacocca at Chrysler. Various luminaries trying to fix up ailing giants such as GM and Ford. The rest slip from your mind as easily as they will be glossed over by history. Gates's essential difference is that his success is built on being entrepreneurial. He is neither a numbers man like Geneen nor an in-your-face salesman like Iacocca. Gates is a genuine gen e triumph.


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