Billionaires and Philanthropists Mr. Warren Buffet and Mr. Bill Gates have been very close friends for the longest of time now. But do you know that initially, Bill Gates didn’t even want to meet Warren Buffet? Isnʹt this a fascinating tale?
Once in an interview with the New York Times, the Microsoft co-founder Mr. Bill Gates explains why he was initially reluctant to meet the famous investor and billionaire Mr. Warren Buffet. So Mr. Gates exclaims, “I didn’t even want to meet Warren Buffet at first because I thought, we didnʹt have anything to talk about really. Warren buys and sells things, and so he found imperfections in terms of markets, which is not even adding value to the society, that’s a zero-sum game that is almost parasitic. Also, he wasn’t going to tell me anything about investing.’ That was my view before I met Warren said, Mr. Gates.”
Their legendary friendship began in July 1991 when Warren Buffet was visiting a Washington Post editor Meg Greenfield in Washington State. Greenfield was friends with Bill Gates’ parents, so she took Warren with her to visit them. Gates was propelled by his mother to meet Warren Buffet. “It was a funny event because my mother is very sociable, always bringing people together,” Gates said while addressing the students at the University of Nebraska in 2005. “So when she came up to me and said, ‘You’ve got to come out and meet Warren Buffet,’ I said, ‘Mom, I’m busy!’”. Bill Gate further quotes, “My mother further pushed me and insisted that Buffett would be interesting and worth my time. Finally, Bill Gates did agree to meet Warren Buffet before leaving for office.
Initially, Gates was reluctant to meet Warren Buffet but he soon changed his mind after “Warren began asking him amazingly good questions that nobody had asked him before.” Gates mentioned in his 2016 blog post.
Warren Buffet too on the other hand wasn’t too enthralled to meet Bill Gates either but he quickly warmed him. “We hit it off soon,” Buffet recalls in 2000. "We had a great time. He had this chimpanzee to whom he was going to try and explain this technical stuff. But I was kind of an interesting chimpanzee to him, and heʹs a terrific teacher."
Their dinner conversation was enough to convince Mr. Gates that Mr. Warren Buffet has plenty to offer. “I realize everything he does is based on a framework of the world where he’s judging — judging markets, judging people, judging how things work, in a very deep way,” Gates said at the DealBook conference. “I realized that although we come from different places, we’re both trying to model the world and what goes on.”
So, “this conversation went on for hours and hours,” said Gates in his 2016 blog post. That one meeting had completely transformed their friendship which has spanned over three decades now. The historic meeting ultimately led to Warren Buffett pledging to give virtually all of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other foundations in 2006.
In addition to that, Mr. Bill Gates and Mr. Buffett joined forces in 2010 to announce The Giving Pledge campaign, through which the pair have gathered over 200 wealthy people around the world to donate the bulk of their fortunes to philanthropic causes.
“You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with,”
- Warren Buffet
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