Bye, Bye Bill

By , 27 June, 2008, No Comment

It’s the end of an era. Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft to be a full-time dogooder. Over at TechCrunch, there’s an interesting discussion about who might replace him as the individual who “controls” the tech world. For almost two decades, Gates and Microsoft have had enough of a hold on computing that whatever you built or designed at least had to work WITH Windows. Even Apple caved.

But according to TechCrunch, nobody “controls” today’s platform–the Web. So no one can ever do what Gates did again.

Puhl-eese. It’s true that neither Facebook nor Google nor Yahoo can become the one-and-only platform for everything (they’re all trying to do that, but I think Web 2.0 consumers like having multiple foci for their internet lives, so the titans will have to coexist).

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an entrepreneur out there who gets to be the chief change driver. The thing is, with today’s set of tech leaders that sell consumer experiences as much or more than they sell technological gadgetry, the leader need not devise a platform or a set of code that everyone has to use and work with. Rather the next Bill Gates will be the person who devises a culture, a way of connecting to consumers, that everyone has to use, no matter what they sell.

TechCrunch’s poll is still valuable, and I encourage you to read it. But by asking who’s making the most/best STUFF for the web, I’m not sure they’re thinking about the question the right way.

Leave a Reply