Funny coincidences. I was thinking about writing up my experiences at the one time I was invited to Bill’s house (about 5 years ago, it was a party for 15+ year veterans), and I ran into this post from Jeff Maurone.
Jeff’s experiences pretty much mirror my own. The house is amazing, the security is insane (he didn’t mention the discreet video cameras that cover the entire grounds). I’m not sure he noticed the two story tall projection TV screen that’s hidden behind the tapestry in the living room (the wall of which is constructed of braided pieces of cedar). And the Hollywood grade projection room with the plush seats and individual remote controls. And the swimming pool and exercise room.
The public areas of the house are really more like a convention center than a living area though – yes, there are pictures of Bill and his family but…
Btw, it’s kinda funny – the most memorable part of my 15th year celebration was actually the same kind of event that Jeff mentioned – Bill’s son and his nanny (the son’s nanny, not Bill’s nanny) came down to play on the play structure before bedtime.
And Bill broke away from his guests to go over and hang with his son for about half an hour – just talking, pushing him on the swing, hanging out. Here he had over 100 guests, and he totally ignored them while he went to play with his son.
It totally made my day, and made me realize just how much he had changed from the early days of Microsoft. The old Bill (the Bill of “Is this thing REALLY 8 F*ing BASIC’s”) wouldn’t have snuck away from the party to spend time with his family.