Geeks are clever at technology and might dream of that being recognised, and even getting rich from it, but will always remain too interested in technology to turn their interest to anything else - like actually making themselves rich.
Gates however is not a geek, he is a businessman. As such, his main concern in life has been making money. Much of his book "The Road Ahead" was his musings on IT business models. He wrote of how he would make money from a future infrastructure that he called "The Information Highway". For example:- "there will be new billing options, monthly subscriptions, hourly rates, charges per item accessed and advertising payments, so that more revenue flows to the information providers". In this, he would have been the gatekeeper and rent collector of this information highway, and the rest of us would be grateful and in awe.
He seems to have meant his information highway as an extension to TV, not the Internet or the Web as we know it, although later he would have us believe that it was the Web that he meant. He describes how we will order flowers for Mothers Day : "You'll be able to watch the florist arrange the bouquet, ... and watch on our screen as the florist assembles the blooms while we suggest how to arrange them." Here is a clue - geeks are not interested in flower arranging! This is sales talk, and bullshit as sales talk usually is; what florist on the eve of Mother's Day will have time to hold video conferences with customers who mess them around? Only with customers like Gates paying the bill perhaps. Anyway, video-conferencing was not new in 1995.
Here is another clue. In an outline of "The Road Ahead" Gates writes: "Some people don't like the idea of talking to a computer. ... But we talk to machines already. When your car or computer does not work, you shout at it. We shout at things all the time." Well, Gates must be speaking for himself, because geeks don't shout at computers, let alone "at things all the time"; they quietly deal with the problem. In fact Gates does have a reputation for shouting at people that they are "idiots"; more like a spoilt brat than an intelligent man, although the two are not mutually exclusive.
Perhaps it is assumed he is a geek because of his poor social skills. Caroline Graham interviewed him once for the Daily Mail, and wrote : "To say that Gates is socially awkward is putting it mildly. This is a man who built a multi-billion-dollar company yet seems totally unaware of the social niceties of life. His voice is loud and oddly high-pitched. He's in constant motion as he speaks, rocking in his chair with his arms folded protectively in front of him, tapping his toes, fiddling with a pen. He fails to look me in the eye and doesn't engage in small talk."
Some role model.