The Bill Gates Wealth Index

Here’s a site that answers the burning question: “How much money is it worth Bill Gates’ time to pick up?” (The following was originally written in 1998.)

Consider that [Gates] made this money in the 25 years or so since Microsoft was founded in 1975. If you assume that he has worked 14 hours a day on every business day of the year since then, that means he’s been making money at a staggering million dollars per hour, around $300 per second.

Which means that if, on his way into the office, should he see or drop a $1000 bill on the ground, it’s just not worth his time to bend over and pick it up. He would make more just heading off to work.

We’re assuming about 4 seconds to bend down and pocket the bill. Of course he can afford to hire people to follow him and pick up any $1000 bills he may drop. Not that he would, fortunately he doesn’t quite think of his wealth or time this way. The rumours that when the $50,000,000 invoice for his new manor on Lake Washington came in, he simply said, “Melinda, could you get my wallet. I think it’s in my other pants” are not true. It is ironic that a lot of that house is going to be underground; rooms built with Windows won’t have any.

On a similar note, there’s the Bill Gates perosnal wealth clock, which shows the man has just over $58 billion. That’s nearly $200 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. This same site features a guide explaining how to become as rich as Bill Gates.

  1. Choose your grandparents carefully.
  2. Choose your parents carefully.
  3. Acquire research results by hiring and buying.
  4. Let other people do the programming.
  5. Train your new CEO.
  6. Focus on profit.
  7. Let the venture capitalists schmooze Wall Street.
  8. Self-esteem is not Job 1.

Me? I think I’ll continue to get rich slowly…

[The Bill Gates Wealth Index]

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