I was honored to host at my home a celebration for my dear friend and mentor, Leonard Peikoff, on the occasion of his 86th birthday. It was a delightful evening. Leonard’s close friends engaged warmly, and a dinner was served in an elegant surrounding.
Several guests, including Lisa VanDamme, Andrew Lewis, and myself, expressed our profound gratitude for Leonard, his books, courses, and advice that has impacted our lives so greatly. It was an evening to be remembered.
Video and photographs of the celebration can be viewed here.
Gates also said he would not have retired as soon had it not been for the U.S. government case, which began in 1998. Gates started the company with Paul Allen in 1975, then stepped aside as CEO in 2000, letting Steve Ballmer take the reins as the antitrust case was at its peak.
Krishnamurthy wants to chart a different path from Jeff Bezos’. Amazon is all about service: selection, price, and speed. Flipkart wants to play on value. “We pivoted the company over value versus service, which was a difficult proposition, but we did it,” he said, without commenting on Amazon, or any other competitors.
His conviction to do things comes from a book he read when he was young – Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. “I was influenced in my early days, and even now by that book. Do what you think is right. If you think about what that book is all about, its conviction,” he said.
It was around this time that I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Rand preached a philosophy of radical individualism that she called Objectivism.
While I didn’t fully accept its tenets, her vision of the world made more sense to me that that of my left-wing friends. “Do your own thing” was their motto, but now I saw that the individualism implicit in that phrase was superficial and strictly limited. They thought, for instance, that it was going too far for a black man to do his thing by breaking with radical politics, which was what I now longed to do.
I never went along with the militant separatism of the Black Muslims, but I admired their determination to “do for self, brother,” as well as their discipline and dignity. That was Daddy’s way. He knew that to be truly free and participate fully in American life, poor blacks had to have the tools to do for themselves. This was the direction in which my political thinking was moving as my time at Holy Cross drew to an end.
The question was how much courage I could muster up to express my individuality. What I wanted was for everyone — the government, the racists, the activists, the students, even Daddy — to leave me alone so that I could finally start thinking for myself.