Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Bill Gates Finally Gets to Say He Graduated From Harvard–Booyah!

Well, it’s about time Microsoft’s Bill Gates amounted to something. Just being one of the most powerful figures in technology (and, oh yes, the world’s richest man) is all well and good, but you’re nothing without that Harvard diploma hanging from the wall of your gigantic and luxurious Seattle compound.

Check that task off for Gates, who got his honorary degree yesterday after dropping out of Harvard in 1975 to found what would become the software giant. He also delivered the commencement address to 15,000 graduates in Harvard Yard (you can access the text here) and gave The Wall Street Journal’s Rob Guth an interview about that and a lot of big issues.

Guth did a piece and also a video interview right below. Both are yet another example of the famously aggressive tech mogul’s more reflective bent, as he moves from running Microsoft to guiding his ambitious philanthropic efforts.

That softer side of Gates was also much in evidence in his recent joint interview with Apple’s Steve Jobs that we did last week at D5. We have a post on the interview and the video of the encounter is up in many parts on this site.

It is also available in its entirety for download for free on Apple’s iTunes, where it remains the No. 1 video and audio podcast. The link to the joint interview on iTunes is here and it will connect you to the Gates/Jobs interview page on iTunes, but only if you have downloaded the iTunes software.

Also below, courtesy of Harvard, we have embedded the whole speech (in five parts, including Gates shown in one of those goofy graduation outfits) by Gates, whose family can finally relax now that he is a college grad and has the paper to prove it.

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What’s happening is that we might, in fact, be at a time in our history where we’re being domesticated by these great big societal things, such as Facebook and the Internet. We’re being domesticated by them, because fewer and fewer and fewer of us have to be innovators to get by. And so, in the cold calculus of evolution by natural selection, at no greater time in history than ever before, copiers are probably doing better than innovators. Because innovation is extraordinarily hard.

— Mark Pagel, fellow of the Royal Society and professor of evolutionary biology, in conversation with Edge.org