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比尔盖茨的退休生活

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2008年7月,比尔盖茨从微软退出的时候,也收起了自己的高尔夫球棍。他的解释之词很简单,一如它揭示出的含义:要想练好,花费的时间太多了。
When Bill Gates formally stepped away from an active role at Microsoft (MSFT) in July of 2008, he also hung up his golf clubs. His explanation was as simple as it was revealing: "It takes up too much time to get any good at it."
似乎比尔盖茨的退休跟普通人一样,不过如此。但我们应该知道,这其实是他的委婉表达。他是一个具有非凡工作能力的人,习惯了困倦到极点时宁可在桌子底下入睡,也不肯让一分钟溜走,把微软打造成软件帝国。
So much for anything resembling a typical retirement for Mr. Gates. We should have known, of course, that for him the term is a mere euphemism. This is a guy with an extraordinary capacity for work, a man who used to sleep under his desk rather than lose a minute away from the office while building Microsoft into a software juggernaut.
虽然盖茨还是微软的董事长,只是不参与日常运作,但微软公司似乎还是感到遗憾。现在盖茨致力于”比尔与梅琳达盖茨基金会”,与各种疾病根源做斗争,比如:疟疾,轮状病毒,艾滋病。他还积极投身于科技进步,凭借自己的财富、影响力、非凡的智慧,在相当宽泛的一系列领域内加速创新的步伐,这些领域涵盖了农业、银行业、教育、卫生设施、非碳能源,以及可以扭转全球变暖趋势的地球工程学技术。最近他开通了个人网站,网站名字叫thegatesnotes.com,在网站上列出了他的许多活动和关注的事情,并对现今一些事件和革新发表了个人观点。你还可以阅读他在推特上的发言:http://twitter.com/BillGates .
Although Gates remains its non-executive chairman, Microsoft almost seems like an afterthought nowadays. Gates is busy with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which fights scourges like malaria, rotovirus, and HIV/AIDS. But he also is evolving into something of a techno-activist, using his money and his clout and his celebrated smarts to help accelerate innovation in a wide array of fields from agriculture, to banking, to education, to sanitation, to carbon-free energy sources and geo-engineering techniques that could reverse global warming. He recently started a personal website called thegatesnotes.com that catalogs his many activities and interests, and offers up his opinions on innovations and issues of the day. And you can read his tweets on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BillGates .
盖茨的另外一项重要日常活动是每隔几周,出席在美国知识风险公司的实验室举办的“发明会议”,这也是一个非比寻常的臭鼬工厂,由他的老伙伴,微软前首席技术官——纳森•梅尔沃德发起.(美国知识风险公司曾帮助盖茨的基金会进行一些科学研究,作为回报,盖茨给他们提供了一款最先进的超型计算机)。他现在的新办公室一车一车地堆满了书,由此判断,他那充满了智慧的好奇心,涉猎的范围更宽了。在盖茨的影响下,现在那些著名大学的辍学生,也有机会做想做的事情,这在以前是不可能的。“我每周平均读5本书,”盖茨实事求是地说。然而,他承认,如果生活在一个完美的世界里,他一定可以读得更多。
Another key activity is attending "invention sessions" every few weeks at the laboratories of Intellectual Ventures, an unusual skunkworks started by another old pal, Nathan Myhrvold, who formerly headed Microsoft's R&D. (Gates recently ponied up for a state-of-the-art supercomputer in return for IV's help with some scientific research for his foundation.) And judging from the library carts full of books in his new office, his intellectual curiosity, if anything, has broadened. Now the celebrated college dropout has time to indulge it as never before. "I'm averaging about five books a week," Gates says matter-of-factly, albeit acknowledging that in a perfect world he would surely read more.
利用第一号讲坛
Using the bully pulpit
实际上,盖茨概念里的“活跃”退休比大多数人正在忙碌的事业还雄心勃勃。毕竟,他只有54岁,而且,即使捐赠了数十亿美金给”比尔与梅琳达盖茨基金会”,据估计他大约还有500亿美金的巨额财富。除了担任基金会的主席、微软的名誉上角色,在好友沃伦-巴菲特的要求下,他还加入了伯克希尔哈撒韦公司的管理委员会。
Indeed, Gates' notion of an "active" retirement is far more ambitious than most people's careers. After all, he's only 54 years old, and he still has an enormous fortune estimated at $50 billion to manage, even after pouring tens of billions of dollars into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Apart from his role as co-chair of the foundation and his side-gig at Microsoft, he also joined the board of Berkshire Hathaway (BKRA) at the behest of buddy Warren Buffett.
他已经习惯了从微软退休后的新轨道,更加雄心勃勃地利用白宫这个第一号讲坛,这是世界上最著名的企业家和最慷慨的慈善家的讲坛,盖茨利用这个讲坛,以新的方式,影响着世界。他总是关注着商界,但是,现在他也频繁地约见各州的议员首脑,为发展中国家争取更多的人道主义援助,他也拜访各个公司的CEO们,激励他们去思考为消费者服务的途径。
And as he has adapted to his new, post-Microsoft routines, he has more aggressively used the bully pulpit of being both the world's most celebrated entrepreneur and its most generous philanthropist to influence the world in new ways. He's always had the ear of the business world, but now he frequently meets with heads of state to lobby for more humanitarian aid for the developing world, and he visits CEOs to urge them to consider ways to serve customers there.
“因为比尔与商界、技术和慈善事业的紧密关系,再加上他天生的智慧,比尔能够带给世界一个更全面、更有远见的视角。” 杰夫•莱克斯这样说到。杰夫•莱克斯曾任微软的商业部总裁,在盖茨退休的时候,他转而接管了基金会,出任CEO.。他说“今天天比尔会见意大利总理西尔维奥.贝卢斯科尼,寻求国外援助;第二天可能就是会见西雅图生物研究院的科学家,讨论艾滋病疫苗的进展;第三天可能会见美国教育部的秘书,商讨如何肯定并奖励优秀的教师。他真的拥有宏大的独特视角。”
"Because of all of his connections in business and technology and philanthropy, and his raw intellect, Bill brings an integrated, futuristic view of the world," says Jeff Raikes, a former Microsoft executive who became the CEO of the foundation at about the same time Gates retired. "One day he's meeting with [Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi about not pulling back on foreign aid, and the next day he's meeting with scientists at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute to talk about progress on an AIDS vaccine, and the next day he's meeting with Arne Duncan [the U.S. Secretary of Education] on how we'd like to recognize and reward good teachers. He really has a big picture view that is unique."
创造性的资本主义,富于同情心的慈善事业
Creative capitalism, compassionate philanthropy
盖茨这样形容自己的活动;“我做的每件事情都有一个共同的主题,那就是’如何组织起来创新,并产生实际影响?如何使创新更容易,如何找到合适的人,合适的资源,如何使得创新成果产生最广泛的影响?’我自己的创新实例里包含了科技或软件编程或在线信息的元素。我希望帮助别人把解决这些问题的时间长度缩减数年。”
Here's how Gates describes his activities: "Everything I do has sort of a common theme, which is 'How do you organize innovation to have impact? How do you facilitate the innovation, get the right group of people together, get the right resources, and have it have this impact on a large scale?' And innovation, in my case, has some type of science or software programming or online information component. I want to help cut years off of how long it takes to solve these problems."
他有一个词语来形容他的方法哲学:创造性资本主义。就拿他自己来说明一下创造性资本主义:他的兴趣包含了几个元素,但简单地说,他将其定义成一种奋斗,努力识别科学能够实现的机会和挑战,在这些机会和挑战里,正确的进取心将会助其形成最初的市场力量,从经济上存活下来。作为一个企业家,他深刻地知道如何从无到有地创造出巨大的新市场,特别是从已有的相关市场上进行创造。
He has a term to describe the philosophy of his approach: creative capitalism. Like his own interests, creative capitalism has several dimensions, but in a nutshell, he defines it as striving to identify opportunities or challenges that technology could address, where a well-placed push will help jump-start market forces that will sustain them economically. As an entrepreneur, he knows first-hand how enormous new markets can be created out of thin air, especially adjacent to existing ones.
但是,作为一个慈善家,他更注重实效,特别是为世界贫困地区研发药物和其他产品以及服务的时候,他尤其看重实效。因此,尽管盖茨在好奇心上无穷无尽,在野心上无所畏惧,但他知道自己的基础在于小心谨慎地抓住机遇,矢志不渝地顽强追求,而不是在传统的已有市场上浅尝辄止。举个例子来说,你可能不了解他对能源研究投资的基金会,但是你可以看到他用电话网络系统为偏远山区提供银行服务而做出的尝试和努力。
As a philanthropist, however, he is more pragmatic, especially when it comes to developing medicines and other products and services for the world's poor. And so even though Gates is voraciously curious and fearless in his ambitions, he knows his foundation has to carefully pick its challenges and stubbornly pursue them, rather than dabble on the fringe of areas that traditional markets might serve. You won't see the foundation fund energy research, for example, but you will see it try to find ways to use cell phone networks to deliver rudimentary banking services in remote areas.
有时候,盖茨的企业家世界和慈善家世界会幸福地拥抱在一起,尤其是他参与了纳森•梅尔沃德的知识风险公司之后,这个公司的科学家职员们为盖茨基金会提出了许多与众不同的研究项目。这些充满想象力的发明常常定位于解决发展中国家的实际困难,一个例子就是手动曲柄的牛奶巴氏消毒器,不需要外部电源就可以给鲜牛奶消毒,一次可以给一只奶牛消毒。另一个例子是超高效的热水瓶,储存易变质的冰冻疫苗,可用于偏远地区疫苗的长途运输存储。还有一个发明是纳森•梅尔沃德的最爱——激光灭蚊器,该灭蚊器能够区分蚊子的性别,因为雄性的蚊子不会携带疟疾传播,但雌性的蚊子会。
Sometimes Gates' entrepreneurial and philanthropic worlds happily collide, especially through his involvement with Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures, whose staff scientists conduct unusual research projects on behalf of the Gates Foundation, often with the aim of coming up with imaginative inventions to address practical difficulties in the developing world. One example is a hand-crank-operated milk-pasteurizer that needs no external source of electricity to process raw milk, one cow at a time. Another is a super-efficient thermos bottle for preserving and safely dispensing perishable refrigerated vaccinations for long periods of time far from the grid. And then there's Myhrvold's favorite -- a laser mosquito zapper that can tell the difference between males, which aren't carriers of malaria, and females, which are.
盖茨扮演的“坏警察”对梅尔沃德扮演的“好警察”
Playing "bad cop" to Nathan Myhrvold's "good cop"
这个想法是周期性举行的“全球—受益 发明会议”——全天候的自由讨论会议的产物,会议上的一些成果归属盖茨基金会。会议上的每个人都会注意到梅尔沃德和盖茨如何模仿苏格拉底的好警察/坏警察版本来主持会议。梅尔沃德的想象力倾向于所有的可能性,他鼓励在场的十几个科学家全方位思考,而盖茨喜欢泼冷水,指出商业运作的现实性,或者是让人畏惧的实际难题,或是瞬息万变的需求变化。
These ideas are the product of periodic "global-good invention sessions" -- basically all-day brainstorming meetings -- some of which IV holds expressly for the Foundation. Anyone sitting in on one of these sessions immediately notices how Myhrvold and Gates use a good cop/bad cop version of the Socratic method as they preside over them. Myhrvold's imagination tends to run wild with possibilities, encouraging the dozen or so scientists in attendance to think "around corners," while Gates provides the cold-water splash of the realities of business, or of the daunting scope of the problems and the simultaneous need to move quickly.
在最近的一期会议上,梅尔沃德和基金会列出了一组可能性的开发,开发一种特殊的能留下痕迹的吸墨纸,大小跟邮票类似,可以用于收集血样,唾液样本和尿样,一个单独的例子就是用于血型鉴定,还可用于检测某种疾病体质的DNA遗传标记,等等。这些测试结果任何地方都可以保存管理,有潜在的可能救助数百万的生命。
At recent session Myhrvold and the Foundation assembled a group to explore the possibilities of developing a special kind of imprinted blotter paper the size of a postage stamp that can be used to collect traces blood, saliva, and urine on a single sample for blood typing, and to detect genetic markers in DNA for the predisposition toward certain disease, etc. Such tests could be administered just about anywhere and would have the potential to save millions of lives.
盖茨还参加了知识风险公司称作“发明科学基金”的会议,在这些会议上,有类似的自由讨论,梅尔沃德邀请了一群精挑细选的科学家和来自学术界的专家,有时候邀请一些有实际基础的发明家,这些发明家对某个特殊的技术或者问题有着激进的想法。跟“全球—受益”的系列会议不同,这个系列的会议目标是产生出具有巨大经济潜力的创新。这些会议由一小群投资者支持,比如盖茨自己,他允许知识风险公司签署它选中的某个项目,进行研究。某种意义上,它类似于一个非常早期的风险资本激进,但是目标是创造出能够取得专利发明的想法,这些专利发明后续可能会被某个公司取得,初始的投资者和发明家可以分享收益。
Gates also participates in what IV calls Invention Science Fund (ISF) sessions. These are similar brainstorming meetings in which Myhrvold invites a select group of scientists and specialists mainly from academia, and sometimes some actual basement inventors with radical ideas about a particular technology or issue. Unlike the "global-good" sessions, these are intended to result in innovations with rich commercial potential. They're funded by a small group of investors like Gates who allow IV to underwrite research of its choosing. In that sense, it is like a very early stage venture capital fund, but the goal is to find ideas that could be turned into patentable inventions that an existing company might want to acquire, and the original investors and inventors would split the proceeds.
梅尔沃德说“我们有清晰的策略围着篱笆摆动,我们尽力去做那些能够击中目标的事情,”他指的是转换成能够从根本上改变工业的技术。(盖茨把它们称作“奇迹”)。“我们最基础的原则就是通过基金会这样一种方式,进行数千个的发明创造,如果其中的一个能够产生效应,那就可以支付所有的开销,如果有两个见成效,我的上帝啊,不敢想象。”一些想法听起来似乎不切实际,但是知识风险公司的科学家们相信,在实际投资建立模型之前,利用盖茨捐助的超型计算机实际模拟,能够证明许多想法具有实际意义。一个例子就是下面这样一个想法,把少量的二氧化物喷溅到具有极性的平流层。二氧化物是化学炼油厂的一种普通废料,依靠一根8英里长的迈来材质的管子,管子下面悬挂着氦气球,氦气球同时还支撑着小的太阳能泵,一旦管子到达平流层,100英里每小时的风速就会把它吹散出管子,就好像一层薄雾,反射着阳光。总的说来,这个想法就是模拟大型火山爆发的影响,从历史宏观上来讲,火山爆发会导致轻微的全球表冷效应。
"We have an explicit strategy to swing for the fences. We try to do those punctuated equilibrium things," Myhrvold explains, referring to transformational technologies that can change the fundamentals of an industry. (Gates calls them "miracles.") "And our basic proposition in ISF is over the course of one of our funds, we'll do a couple thousand inventions. And they have the property that if one of them works, it pays for everything. And if two of them work, oh my God."
160亿薪酬的闲职
Some of the ideas sound a little far-fetched, but scientists at IV believe they can prove the efficacy of many by modeling them on the supercomputer that Gates bought for them, before going to the expense of building prototypes. One example is the notion of spraying relatively small amounts sulfur-dioxide, a common waste material from chemical processing plants, into the polar stratosphere, by means of an eight-mile pipe made of Mylar and suspended by intermittent helium balloons that also support small, solar powered pumps. Once it hits the stratosphere, 100-mile-an-hour winds spread it around the globe like a thin layer of gauze that subtly reflects sunlight. Basically, the idea is to simulate the effect of enormous volcanic eruptions, which historically have had a slight global cooling effect.
与所有这些比较,微软公司在盖茨这里的重要性似乎降低了,至少从表面上来看是这样。(盖茨拥有641,000,000的公司股份,价值超过160亿美金。)但是,盖茨挑选一些关键时刻介入,他帮助整合了研发团队,也就是建成后的Bing,微软新的互联网搜索业务,跟Google相对,已经占取了一定的市场份额。当公司有特殊的新产品推出或者是嘉奖员工的时候,盖茨也会公开露面。从执行总裁的位置上退出后,他现在是公司的客人。他帮助梅尔沃德规划设计了知识风险公司的发明会议,会议倾向于微软可能需要或者追求的技术。当然,他还主持公司的董事会议。如果问盖茨,从微软退休后,现在最喜欢做的事情是什么,那可能类似于问一个父母,三个孩子里面最爱的孩子是哪一个。因为不同的原因,他平等地爱着不同方面的事物,但几乎最重要的其中一件事情是,他现在有更多的时间跟家人在一起。
The $16 billion side-gig
一个像火一样燃烧的男人
Compared to all of this, Microsoft seems to have receded in importance, at least from outward appearances. (Gates owns some 641 million shares of the company, valued at more than $16 billion.) But Gates picks his moments to stay involved. He helped put together the engineering team that built Bing, Microsoft's new search service that has actually picked up some market share versus Google (GOOG). He occasionally makes public appearances when the company has a special new product to show off or gives employees awards, and he is a guest at executive retreats. He has helped Myhrvold design IV invention sessions oriented toward technologies that Microsoft might want to fund or pursue. And, of course, he presides over meetings of the board of directors.
他新生活的这些巨大变化,有一些是自然发生的,尤其是家庭生活的改变,他在城里的时候,每天都他接送三个孩子上下学,全家几乎从不错过地一起度过周日晚上的时光,其他的夜晚,朋友们已经熟知他和梅琳达会突然即兴召集野餐或者牌局,这些是以前从来没有发生过的。
Asking Gates to name his favorite thing about his post-Microsoft life is sort of like asking a parent which of his three children is his favorite. He loves different aspects pretty much equally for different reasons. But right up there near the top is that he can share much more time with his family
他不仅仅在家的时间多了,他在孩子们的教育和生活中还开始扮演了重要的角色,孩子们越来越大了:两个孩子已经是小学生,还有一个是中学生。盖茨已经成为了他们非正式的科学老师,而且领着他们进行一些不同寻常的实地考察,比如去卫生纸的生产工厂,参观航空母舰,甚至去西雅图东边的城市垃圾站。
A man on fire
去年,全家在欧洲度过了一段较长的时光,他的三个孩子可以直接了解西方文明的起源,可以参观博物馆和纪念地,把历史带进了生活中。
Among the biggest changes in his new life is that he can be a little more spontaneous, especially in his family life. When he's in town, he makes time to either drop off or pick up his three kids from school every day. The entire family almost never misses spending Sunday evenings together, and on other nights he and Melinda have even been known to call up friends out of the blue for an impromptu cookout or card game. That never happened before.
同样重要的,他可以和妻子梅琳达更密切地一起在基金会工作。“我们一直平等地一起抚养孩子,这是一个浩大的工程,”盖茨说,“但在微软公司,我们不是真正的职业平等。她理解我的一些挑战,因为她一直在关注,但是,我们并不平等。现在我们都在基金会工作,我们真正的平等,这是一件美妙的事情。”
It's not just that he's around home a little more, but that he has made a commitment to play a bigger part in the lives and education of his children now that they're older: two are grade-schoolers, and one is in middle school. He has become their unofficial science teacher and takes them on unusual field trips to places like a toilet-paper plant, an aircraft carrier, and even the city dump for Seattle's East Side.
梅琳达盖茨说,她从来没见过她的丈夫像现在这么活跃。“就像燃烧的火,”他说。“我想知道他的目标是什么,因为一个人刚退休的时候,会有一堆的朋友因为这样那样的原因想来看你,我想知道,“糟糕!这是他打发时间的好方法吗?但是,一旦他把这些事情理顺,他就非常深刻地知道他真正想做的是什么。”
Last year the family spent an extended period of time as a family in Europe, so their three kids could learn first-hand about the origins of western culture and visit museums and landmarks that could bring history to life.
标签:生活 退休
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2010-06-29 15:56 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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