Tag Archives: bill gates

Bill Gates invests in veggie burger that ‘bleeds’ like beef to feed the masses and save the planet

Bill Gates became the world’s richest man by tackling seemingly impossible problems — so it should come as no surprise that he believes in a startup whose goal is to create the impossible.

In this case, the audacious goal isn’t getting a computer in every home, it’s creating an environmentally responsible meat substitute that’s indistinguishable from the real thing. Gates is participating in a $75 million fundraising round for Impossible Foods, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that makes meat from plants. It’s the third fundraising round Gates has participated in.

The company’s flagship product, the Impossible Burger is made from plant-based ingredients, including “soy leghemoglobin.” That key component of the Impossible Burger is said to mimic heme (a compound in hemoglobin), the iron-containing molecule that carries oxygen in blood and is ubiquitous in animal muscle.

The Impossible Burger is said to ‘bleed’ like real beef. (Impossible Foods Photo)

So why is Bill Gates investing in mock meats? Impossible Foods says its products can feed the masses “with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals.”

It’s one of many startups developing meat alternatives if/when livestock agriculture becomes too inefficient to feed the estimated 9.7 billion people who will be living on this planet by 2050.

Reducing global hunger is an explicit goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“In an era of increasingly scarce resources and growing impact of climate change, we encourage farmers to embrace and adopt sustainable practices that help them grow more with less land, water, fertilizer, and other costly inputs while preserving natural resources for future generations,” the Gates Foundation website reads.

Impossible Foods says its flagship burger uses 75 percent less water, generates 87 percent fewer greenhouse gasses, and requires about 95 percent less land than ground beef from conventionally raised cows. The company won a patent for its leghemoglobin technology earlier this month.

The Impossible Burger is said to be identical to real beef in taste and texture. When cooked, it even “bleeds” and sizzles like ground beef. It is being served at a handful of restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The company is competing in a space crowded with other startups eager to find an alternative to traditional agriculture. Gates is also an investor in Beyond Meat, which is distributing its own plant-based burgers in hundreds of U.S. grocery stores.

Impossible Foods’ latest investment round was led by Singapore-based Temasek. Other investors include Khosla Ventures and Horizon Ventures.



Bill Gates told new grads to read this book. Now it’s surging on Amazon

Since stepping down as Microsoft’s chief executive in 2000, Bill Gates has seen his reputation transform from that of a hard-nosed businessman intent on shutting out the competition — which produced comparisons to oil magnate John D. Rockefeller — to that of a wise, inspiring philanthropist seeking to solve some of the world’s toughest social challenges.

Now, Gates regularly dispenses the wisdom he’s gained over the years in an effort to get people to dream bigger, think more positively and be a force for good. He’s even willing to give all this advice for free.

On Monday, Gates delivered what seemed like an entire graduation speech in the span of 14 tweets.

Like the best commencement speeches, Gates’s tweetstorm is a personal reflection on the ways he’s grown since he was a young adult. He admits that it took him “decades” to learn about inequality, and he says he no longer believes there is only one way to measure intelligence. He also articulates a philosophy that drives what he does: the notion that the world is steadily getting better, not worse.

The argument for that, Gates said, is laid out in a 2011 book called “The Better Angels of Our Nature.” Written by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, the book attempts to explain why, as the New York Timesput it, “our era is less violent, less cruel and more peaceful than any previous period of human existence,” despite headlines that may scream to the contrary.

“That matters,” Gates tweeted, “because if you think the world is getting better, you want to spread the progress to more people and places.”

So it’s probably no surprise that, in light of Gates’s recommendation, “Better Angels” is surging on Amazon. As of Monday afternoon, it had risen in Amazon’s sales rankings by more than 6,000 percent in the previous 24 hours. (Update: As of Tuesday morning, the book had risen 605,000 percent to claim the number-two spot on Amazon’s movers-and-shakers list.)



Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Microsoft. It’s complicated

Looking back at Steve Jobs’ tenure at Apple, it’s impossible to separate the role Microsoft and Bill Gates played. The companies helped pioneer the industry and define an era. The two CEOs partnered at various times, competed all the time, and challenged one another in ways that helped shape the landscape of technology. It’s a complex relationship – which you can witness in this amusing video compilation of Steve Jobs best quotes about Microsoft.

During the development of the Macintosh in the early 80s, Microsoft was an important ally. Apple needed groundbreaking softwares for it’s upcoming platform and Microsoft was one of the few companies developing for it. It was a crucial phase for Apple.

The strength of their relationship could be witnessed at an Internal Apple Event in Hawai where Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a few Apple VIPs. Bill Gates sugarcoated the Mac and Steve Jobs loved every moment of it.

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were so close at the time that according to a Guardian article, they even double-dated occasionally.

But all good things must end.

Steve Jobs had this dream where Apple would dominate the computer business and Microsoft would own the application-side of that business. The OS would naturally also by controlled by Apple.

But Bill Gates wasn’t blind. He understood that the Graphical User Interface was the future of computing. He also knew that it would quickly make its DOS operating system irrelevant and threatens Microsoft to become (just) a software company dependent of Apple. Bill Gates had bigger plans.

For years, Microsoft had engineers secretly copying the Macintosh OS and working on its own version of a Graphical OS: Windows. Not long after the Internal Event in Hawaii, Steve Jobs learned the crushing news. Microsoft wanted to compete with Apple; Bill Gates deceived him.


For the next 15 years, Apple would engage in a strange relationship with Microsoft. On one end, Microsoft was prying marketshare away from Apple, on the other, it was one of its biggest partner. Steve Jobs would soon leave Apple and create NeXT but would not succeed to make a dent in Microsoft’s dominance.

Along the way, Jobs often sparred with Microsoft, criticizing the company’s lack of creativity.

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste,” Jobs said in the 1996 public television documentary “Triumph of the Nerds.” “They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”

In a New York Times article that ran after the documentary aired, Jobs disclosed that he called Gates afterward to apologize. But only to a degree.

”I told him I believed every word of what I’d said but that I never should have said it in public,” Jobs told the Times. ”I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”


But if Steve was still bitter about Bill, why would he keep a letter of Bill next to his bed during his last moments?

Though to say…

What both men really thought of each others or what really happened behind the curtain will probably never be known. You have to hope that these titans truly shared mutual respects and eventually found grounds to appreciate each others. Bill Gates seems to have:

Bill Gates statement at the passing of Steve Jobs

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

Bill Gates, 2011.




Bill Gates is helping India win its war on human waste

October, 2, 2019 is an important date for India’s government.

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, it marks the proposed finish line for “Clean India,” the country’s ambitious plan to install 75 million toilets around the country.

Right now, 600,000 of the world’s 1.7 million who die annually from unsafe water and sanitation (due primarily to open, unclean toilets) live in India. As billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently wrote on his blog, those kinds of conditions make a plan like Clean India worthy of both praise and financial support.

Over the past several years, The Gates Foundation has donated millions in aid and grant money to both federal governments and private companies. Some of those donations were used to created high-tech toilets for use in low-income countries.

In 2012, the Gates Foundation issued a challenge to design a revolutionary toilet that was safe, sustainable, and affordable. The four winning designs were awarded grants totaling $3.4 million, with the expectation that they could help transform underserved areas.


The largest grant, for $1.3 million, went to RTI for its Integrated Waste Treatment System. The toilets disinfect liquid waste, dry out and burn solid waste, and turn that waste into electricity that further powers the toilet. Each unit costs roughly $2,500 and can accommodate 50 people per day.

Another design is the eToilet, India’s first automatic, unmanned, electronic public toilet. Lights switch on only during use, in order to save energy. Meanwhile, voice commands help people use the toilet correctly. Each use costs only a few cents.

Gates says that the presence of toilets isn’t enough to improve sanitation. People still need to use those toilets.

“Clean India has ingenious ways of tackling that problem,” Gates wrote. In certain places, groups of children will team up to alert people defecating out in the open that public toilets are the smarter and safer option. Billboards remind people the toilets exist. Even the country’s money features the Clean India logo.

More than 30% of India’s villages have been declared free of open defecation, Gates wrote. Last year, the rate was only 8%.

The program is one of Gates’ favorites, he says, because it shows a government can make gigantic leaps in public health so long as it focuses its attention on the problem, measures it, and uses the feedback to tweak the system. Gandhi’s 150th birthday is two and a half years away, and India seems fully set on meeting its goal.

“It is a great example for other countries and an inspiration for all of us who believe everyone deserves a chance at a healthy, productive life,” Gates wrote.



Bill Gates says robots should be taxed like workers

In a new interview with Quartz, Microsoft founder Bill Gates makes a rather stunning argument—that robots who replace human workers should incur taxes equivalent to that worker’s income taxes.

“Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed . . . If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”

Gates argues that these taxes, paid by a robot’s owners or makers, would be used to help fund labor force retraining. Former factory workers, drivers, and cashiers would be transitioned to health services, education, or other fields where human workers will remain vital. Gates even suggests the policy would intentionally “slow down the speed of that adoption [of automation] somewhat,” giving more time to manage the broader transition.

The idea of what amounts to a tax on efficiency would seem anathema to much conventional economic wisdom. For decades, the dominant line on automation has been that displaced workers shift into more productive roles, in turn growing the total economy.

But that thesis has begun to show cracks—as Gates puts it, “people are saying that the arrival of that robot is a net loss,” demanding greater active engagement with job retraining and other programs that target impacted communities. (Though the effectiveness of job training programs is still somewhat debatable).

While Gates resolutely comes down in favor of government’s role in managing automation’s impacts, he offers two points that should be at least slightly compelling to free marketeers.

First, Gates says, the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence in the next 20 years will be a much more concentrated version of the steady, incremental displacement that was common throughout the 20th century. The market alone won’t be able to deal with the speed of that transition—and, Gates further suggests, much of the potential for putting free labor to better use will be in the public sector.

Second, and probably even more importantly, Gates says automation won’t be allowed to thrive if the public resists it. “It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm . . . And, you know, taxation is certainly a better way to handle it than just banning some elements of it.”

In other words, Gates believes that if automation doesn’t clearly benefit all members of society, it could generate some sort of neo-Luddite movement that would restrain technology much more severely than any tax.

If you don’t believe him, just look around. The widespread belief that globalization’s benefits were poorly or unfairly managed has led directly to a political resurgence for fans of walls and tariffs. The same dynamic could repeat itself if automation isn’t rolled out wisely.

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com. Copyright 2017