The Scoop @ MSCO

Prom Queens

This is Bill's boat- he can park most other people's boats on his boat.

So I am sitting here luxuriating in a cool-o-rama suite in a drop dead gorgeous hotel on the island of Antigua. And outside my door, a few hundred yards away, floats Bill Gates’ mansion of a yacht, three times the size of a Navy carrier. Dining on Asian fusion cuisine in the hotel bar, he looks about as happy as the living embodiment of the Federal Reserve can be.

Yes this really is Bill GatesGood time to flash back 30 years ago when the supreme geek was the last guy on the whole, total, complete, absolute planet of a world any self-respecting prom queen would shake her ass at. Oh my God, just glancing at Gates would be reason enough to be expelled from the Club of The Gorgeous.Who knew there was a group for this?

Okay, aged prom queens. What would you do to be the First Lady of the aircraft carrier if Melinda decided to run off with Ashton Kutcher? Don’t even bother answering. I know. You know. Bill knows in spades.

Newton revealed that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is the most important business (and personal life) principle I have ever learned. When Microsoft had 3,000 employees and Gates was still relatively obscure, I spent a day talking with him about his vision. Even then the prom queens were confident they were the chosen. The blessed. The winners.

Life has a way of reversing the order of things. Of inverting the hierarchy. Of transforming yesterday’s corporate czars into has beens. Of shrink wrapping once powerful and profitable companies sitting on top of the world and tossing them into dumpsters.

But it’s not really life that does it. It’s all of us ourselves. Once we get complacent as managers or entrepreneurs, and fail to consciously question what we do… Once we think we are soooo perfect that the curve balls can’t hit us in the face.

We are on the way to a bad surprise. Ask Newton, Ask the Prom Queens.

Mark Stevens

OK all you ex-Prom Kings & Queens tell me what you think…

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  1. gaston mendez ∣ January 23rd / 2007 at 11:33 am

    Newton’s law is something that should be plastered huge on the wall in my office. As complex and diffcult as life and business can seem, it really has to be kept simple or you’ll go bananas.

    The amaziing, or un-amazing thing, is that these ultra-successful people have been through the motions, and they know better than most that if you sleep on your laurels, you’re finished. Yet SOME of these ultra-educated people still find a way to eventually regress into laziness. Fear & laziness must be the 2 most universal traits in humans!

  2. Mark ∣ January 24th / 2007 at 11:08 am

    In All of life, passion prevails!

    Mark Stevens

  3. Bob Glaza ∣ January 24th / 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Mark – while never a prom king – or queen for that matter – you’ve definitely posted food for thought. Now I got nothing against the guy but Bill Gates may yet prove – and become our generations living example of – Newton’s law. Although I got a gut feeling it won’t be an apple that falls on his head :). Like you say, when we lose focus and forget about the “other”, we begin to slide. Already the LA Times story on his non-profit brings up ethical questions but…does anybody read insightful journalism anymore? We’ll see what happens with this new Vista thing.

    Of course – I’m merely a z-lister. Thanks for comment at one reader – I particularly appreciate your reference to Margaret Mead.

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