I first encountered Microsoft in terms of buying their products in about 1981. I bought a game for my Apple II- Adventure (aka “Colossal Cave”, the original Crowther and Woods text based adventure) from them. I followed Bill Gates’ career from about that time, and always felt like, in a weird way, he and I were twins separated at birth… even though he’s older than me and I’m far, far sexier.
In about 1990, I had a beer (several, actually- I think it was a post-training course social thing) with a fellow in Seattle who told me I looked just like Bill. He then proceeded to tell me how his family used to have a summer cottage near the Gates’ clan when Bill was a kid. He described summers sharing BBQs and swimming with the Gates’ family, and turning down a job offer from Bill in the early 1980’s. My momentary pride at being described as “like Bill Gates” was quashed when the guy described the young Bill Gates as a pain in the neck smartass geek, and how he once nearly drowned Bill while swimming because he was so irritating.
In later life, I realized that the “pain in the neck smartass” was a lot more like me than I was probably willing to admit.