"When a kid gets diarrhea, there's no website for that."
Do you miss Bill Gates yet? The founder of Microsoft was oft criticized during his time spent with the company he helped create, and for some, his genius wasn't truly appreciated until he retired, handing over the reins to Steve Ballmer who, let's face it, hasn't been doing a tremendous job. These days Gates is all about his charity and philanthropy work, but at the same time, he's very much in tune with the tech world, especially as it relates to uplifting the poor and underprivileged, and he's always good for a soundbite.
All it took to get one from him is a question about Google's Project Loon, an initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to all corners of the world using a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space.
"When you’re dying of malaria, I suppose you’ll look up and see that balloon, and I’m not sure how it’ll help you. When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there’s no website that relieves that," Gates told Bloomberg in an interview. "Certainly I’m a huge believer in the digital revolution. And connecting up primary-health-care centers, connecting up schools, those are good things. But no, those are not, for the really low-income countries, unless you directly say we’re going to do something about malaria."
You get the sense that Gates is disappointed with Google's involvement in charity. He goes on to say that Google talked a big game about doing all kinds of things, and at one point even hired Larry Brilliant to spearhead its philanthropic efforts, but have since "shut it all down" and are now "just doing their core thing."
And as for Microsoft? Gates insists he doesn't miss having an operational role at his old company, even now that Microsoft is a bit of an underdog again. He says he's still engaged there on a part-time basis and is on the board, but has chosen to focus more of his time and energy on his foundation.