The very last town hall meeting from Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer

I was really touched to listen to Bill Gates’ last Q&A session on Friday at the employee town hall meeting and sad to see them both with tears in their eyes.  it’s obvious that Bill and Steve have a lot of deep affection for each other as the in jokes and laughs between them as they reminisced about their early days, about Bill’s lack of a degree, taking Steve away from business school, fooling around at the office, and what they think of the leadership team  and the vision for the company in years to come.

I was also moved to watch Steve in tears towards the end of the session and seeing Bill wipe his eyes was very moving.

Obviously the event was designed for internal staff only but I’ve found a video courtesy of the Austrian Ready blog where Bills Secretary shares some insights into Bill and the dress code. 

Video: Dress to Impress 

I had a search around for some other videos and I’ve found the following videos which were also shown at the meeting. 

Paul and Bills first company – before Microsoft – Traf-O-Data

 

At Harvard:

 

This video shows Bill’s father and sister talking about working with him at Microsoft:

 

The birth of Microsoft and the early days:

 

So what did Microsoft really sell???

 

His vision for a computer on every desktop:

 

Explanation of the Albuquerque photo with the original members

 

Jeff Raikes (who has now managed to look after the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation) talks about Multiplan and successes and failures and how they moved on from their mistakes

 

Early impressions about Microsoft and Bill as an entrepreneur:

 

How the GUI evolved:

 

The DoJ, competition over the browser and growing pains:

 

Not wanting to go public with the company:

 

Starting Microsoft Research:

 

Paul Maritz and product reviews with Bill:

Typical work schedules at Microsoft. I think some of the product teams still do this based on some deadlines even now🙂

 

Ray Ozzie, J Allard and Craig Mundie talk about Microsoft: change and innovation

 

You can find other videos about Bill here on the Microsoft site here:

This video, with Melinda Gates, I’ve left till the end – it has some wonderful sentiments in it.  and I love the mission statement for their foundation:  “all lives have equal value”

Powerful stuff, and just the right thing to do that will enhance deserving children’s lives throughout the world.  Certainly something to reflect on…