According to Bill Gates, having an absurd amount of money is not really that different than having a whole lot of money.
On Thursday, Bill Gates appeared at the University of Washington to talk to students. He visited the Computer Science & Engineering Department and discussed the evolution of computing, and its global impact.
He also dropped this quote, and it's been making the internet rounds today (courtesy of GeekWire):
I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger. Dick’s (a fast food chain) has not raised their prices enough.
But being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.
Some on the web are saying that Bill Gates is telling students not to strive to be billionaires. I don't quite see it that way.
I'm no billionaire. I'm also no millionaire. When I'm lucky, I'm a thousandaire. But I can see Gates' point. Once you reach a certain point of wealth where you can afford anything you want, everything else is icing on the cake.
Unless of course "everything you want" involves things that cost billions of dollars. But that's a pretty rare scenario.
Maybe this quote from Gates is an insight into why he's so philanthropic. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the biggest transparently-operated private foundation in the world. Its charitable donations and various programs total hundreds of millions - even billions of dollars a year. I guess Bill Gates knows that his life isn't going to be much different with 60 billion dollars as opposed to 40 billion dollars.
In other Bill Gates news - today, October 28th, is his birthday. He turns 56.
What do you think about Gates' comments on wealth and ambition? Let us know in the comments.