(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
It’s interesting that Bill Gates’ speech today on “creative capitalism,” his idea to prompt corporations to help the world’s poor (reported in a fascinating Wall Street Journal scoop this morning aided by the kind of access Gates feeds that paper), comes only a week after coverage of Google’s launch of a huge non-profit arm of the company aimed at doing the same. It almost seems like Microsoft and Google are rivals in virtuousness as well as business. If so, great. It’s tempting to be cynical about Gates’ call for kinder capitalism after the ruthless variety already made him a zillion dollars. At the same time, it takes a harder heart than mine not to get excited by the way this generation of tycoons is reshaping the business world in order to do good.