We had a Bill Gates interview, mini documentary on the other day so Jay and I were learning more about his work, how he started out and grew his business to where he is today.
I love watching these shows about people who were trailblazers and had vision and gumption to create something beyond the norm for their time.
My favourite is listening to the different problem solving challenges he faced and how he worked to resolve them. A correlation was shown between two specific challenges from when he was younger and then what he is working on now. The first being a challenge in his school days when he was asked to work out a way to make class schedules work for 400 students (taking into account room availability, lessons not overlapping or conflicting depending on student required lessons to graduate and their sports and arts times). The second being with his Foundation and the eradication of Polio (taking into account communities in Nigeria that they didn’t have a map for, outbreaks and times volunteers could get in and out of certain areas and move to the next area – and then other countries in the world with political conflict challenges).
In this documentary about him with relation to his dedication to building his business, he says that he hoped everyone would work 12 hour days like he did. He knew everyone’s license plates, so he always knew who was there just as many hours as he was. When this was said, I looked at my husband and we both laughed. I know everyone’s license plates as well. I did not imagine this may be the one thing I have in common with Bill Gates. I know most people that I work with – unless they arrive after me or leave before me (there are a couple of these). I know my families (obviously), our old license plates, friends or people that I drive and park near regularly (could be school or hockey moms). I also know some from our area that I just drive by every day, even if I don’t’ necessarily know who they are. Some of them, I do know who they are, know their license plate, but that would be a weird conversation starter wouldn’t it? Instead of what by normal standards is already a weird intro, (but you do hear it): ‘I know you from facebook’, I would say ‘oh nice to meet you, I know your license plate’, or ‘x1x 1×1 is you?? Oh, ok, I see you driving all the time!’.
At least now I know I am not the only one 😉