In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with Microsoft business magnate Bill Gates from the July 1994 issue.
“If I think something’s a waste of time or inappropriate I don’t wait to point it out. I say it right away. It’s real time. So you might hear me say “That’s the dumbest idea I have ever heard” many times during a meeting.”
“The Wallet PC is something you can carry in your pocket. It’s a futuristic device unlike today’s personal digital assistants. Instead of using keys to enter your house, the Wallet PC identifies that you’re allowed to go into a certain door and it happens electronically. Instead of having tickets to the theater, your Wallet PC will digitally prove that you paid. When you want to board a plane, instead of showing your tickets to 29 people, you just use this. You have digital certificates. Digital money. It has a global positioning thing in it, so you can see a map of where you are and where you might want to go. It’s our vision of the small, portable PC of, say, five years from now.”
“Fear should guide you, but it should be latent. I have some latent fear. I consider failure on a regular basis.”
“As there is progress, which is partly advances in technology, in a certain sense the world gets richer. That is, the things we do that use a lot of resources and time can be done more efficiently. So people wonder, Will there be jobs? Will there be things to do? Until we’re educating every kid in a fantastic way, until every inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do. And as society gets richer, we can choose to allocate the resources in a way that gives people the incentive to go out and do those unfinished jobs.”
“Married life is a simpler life. Who I spend my time with is established in advance.”
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