This is How Bill Gates Views $1 Billion

by Jason Unger

One of my favorite videos of all time is the joint interview that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did together at D5 in 2007.

It’s an amazing and inspiring hour of listening to two of the brightest minds of their time discuss the computer revolution, the future, and their growth together.

I don’t necessarily watch it for the technology angle — and there’s not really a financial angle — but when I need some inspiration to work harder (and smarter) on my business, it does the job every time.

But what does this have to do with money?

Gates is obviously one of the richest people in the world (along with his mentor, Warren Buffett) and Jobs was also a billionaire, so the topic of investing in certain fields came up in response to a question about issues affecting the 2008 presidential election.

As I wrote on Quora

Gates mentions education, and how technology can play a role.

Jobs talks about how the technology industry relies on stability, and adds that there’s a lot of investment going on in alternative energy, and that Silicon Valley could play a role.

Kara Swisher, one of the hosts and interviewers, asks if either Gates or Jobs are investing in it.

Gates hesitates for a moment.

“Some,” he says, and shrugs off more specifics.

Swisher, under her breath, says, “Which might be a lot.”

Everyone laughs.

Then Gates, who isn’t normally known as being quick-witted or especially funny, says the perfect thing at the perfect time.

Ready? You’ll laugh.

“A billion here or there,” he says.

It’s a great moment.

Totally self-deprecating humor (though I’m sure we’d all be happy to make that joke about ourselves) that recognizes his immense wealth and how he’s lucky to have it.

Watch the moment below.

And absolutely, positively watch the entire interview when you have the chance. It’s worth every second of it.

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