In 2003-2004 I interned at Microsoft Research for 16 months and during that time I had the pleasure of being at Bill Gates' house twice. On each occasion I got to shake his hand (along with other interns in research) and asked him a number of questions. While most people asked him questions about writing code or being rich or trivial stuff like that, I was more interested in his work with his philanthropy and what motivated him. I asked him the following questions: (1) What are you most grateful for in your life beyond your possession? (2) You are working with the U.N. in many third world countries to provide basic vaccines, as a technologist what types of gains do you think technology could bring to these places? (3)What do you think will be the long term impact of software on society?. His answers to these questions really impressed me. My manager in the Social Computing Group is well known inside of Microsoft so on my second trip to his house she introduced me to him and as all of us left his house he actually remembered my name as he said goodbye. How cool is that?!?!
The story doesn't end there. A month before my internship ended I sent Bill a personal email thanking him and asking for an autographed picture and wallah... he inter-office mailed it to me that week.
So here is my confession. I am a huge fan of Bill Gates!