Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bill Gates: A Legacy in Danger

There is an ongoing debate as to whether Bill Gates will be remembered as a great entrepreneur, or simply a gifted business strategist. I know only one thing: his fashion legacy is in great danger. There are lessons to be learned from Bill's recent fashion misdaventures. If you are going to reinvent the PC (or any other) industry, make sure you dress the part. This means:

1. Do NOT clothe yourself like an IBM executive. If you must wear a suit, reinvent it. Try Oswald Boateng. Disruptive tailoring never hurt anyone.

2. Avoid posing with your arms folded. It evokes the smugness of the Old Guard, and makes people wonder if under that suit coat, your pants are being held up by your Six Sigma black belt.

I miss 1980s Bill (on the right). 1980s Bill and I have been through a lot: MS-DOS, content portals, Mephistos with knee socks. These were all labeled failures at the time, but it turned out they were just ahead of the market. I want my Mephistos, and 1980s Bill, back.