November 8, 2011

It's Not About Greed

I'm going back to late 1993 now, and my second year as an undergrad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
I studied Economics and Mathematics back in the day, and because of the odd nature of the aforementioned university, that meant I had to study in two campuses. Luckily there were a few other students on that program and so I hitched rides with one of them who had a car.
Whenever we got to Mount Scopus (Economics) he used to say: "I don't like the smell here. It smells like greed."
Funny thing, the guy is now a professor of Economics. but not greedy.
Anyway, since at least the 1970s there have been a profession called Business Administration in most US colleges and universities. The aim of this endeavor is explicitly making money.
The interesting fact is that many US undergrads went on to become millionaires since then, but most of them were computer scientists. Same thing happened in Israel on a smaller scale.
I think people like Bill gates, or even Steve Jobs are greedy to an extent, but that is not the prime motivator of their actions. I think the prime motivator was creating something useful or nice (yes, I even think that of Bill Gates). Money was just a (huge) byproduct of that.
So in the next few weeks I plan to air my personal views on at least four people: Steve Jobs, Bill gates, Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Bezos.
See ya'll next week!