The Reason Young Bill Gates Wouldn't Like Himself Today

It's a constant of the universe that we, as individuals, have a difficult time reconciling our current selves with the people we used to be. For receipts, see every Doctor Who special. But what about those who've achieved greatness? Who've scaled the peaks of human accomplishment and never come down the other side? What about the titans of industry who changed the world for the better, making an unprecedented fortune in the process and forever carving their names into the face of existence itself?

No, turns out they can self loathe with the worst of us. At least, that's how Bill Gates feels.

It isn't because he didn't call his company "Gateway," but it should be

Gates, who reclaimed the title of World's Richest Fella in 2019, claimed in a Village Global interview that his younger self would have found his current state of being reprehensible. The reason? Young Bill Gates, who dropped out of college to found what would become the Microsoft we all know and tolerate when it tells us it's time for another update, was an astonishingly hard worker. Maybe to a cartoonish degree. According to Gates, he would work through his weekends and never take a vacation, memorizing his employees' license plates and checking the parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays to see who was putting in the hours. He was described as a taskmaster by co-founder Paul Allen, and gained a reputation as an office bully.

Today, however, things have changed. Gates' image has softened over the years, with his famously generous donations and co-creation of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. But what really would have shocked his younger self is his ability to take a load off. "Now I take lots of vacation," he said in the 2019 Village Global interview. "My 20-year-old self is so disgusted with my current self. You know, I was sure I would never fly anything but coach and you know, now I have a plane." It's hard not to feel bad for the guy, isn't it?

Would he do it all again? Hard to say. When questioned on the subject of relentless work, Gates said that he "wouldn't recommend it," but added that he has "...a fairly hardcore view that there should be a very large sacrifice made during those early years."