Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children

By John Wood

John wooden stumbled on his ardour, his maximum luck, and his life's paintings now not at enterprise college or aiding lead Microsoft's cost into Asia within the Nineties yet on a soul-searching journey to the Himalayas. He made the tricky determination to stroll clear of his profitable profession to create Room to learn, a nonprofit association that promotes schooling around the constructing international. via the top of 2007, the association can have verified over 5,000 libraries and four hundred colleges, and provided long term scholarships to greater than 3,000 ladies, giving multiple million kids the lifelong reward of schooling.

If you've ever reflected forsaking your table task for an event and a chance to offer again, Wood's tale will encourage you. He bargains a shiny, emotional, and soaking up story of the way to take the teachings realized at a hard-charging corporation like Microsoft and follow them to the world's so much urgent social difficulties.

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There has been nearly not anything we'd now not proportion. while a few former girlfriends had defined me as being indifferent, issues have been various with Sophie. I felt tremendous happy with her and advised her every little thing. As I poured us glasses of the ruby crimson Shiraz, i began to regale her with each aspect of the journey. i began slowly, describing what it was once prefer to shuttle with my father. I instructed her approximately our visits to the universities, and the sensation of pleasure I had upon seeing the scholars’ response to the books.

It was once an surprisingly vibrant day for iciness in Beijing, and the atrium’s significant backyard and plentiful sun made me think as if we have been in Bali instead of Beijing. Junyi and his crew arrived correct on time. He strode to our desk expectantly. wearing denims, boots, and black leather-based jacket, he seemed even more youthful than his 35 years. His face confirmed a whole absence of rigidity. He smiled commonly as he brought himself in excellent English. Our respective entourages have been brought. It looked to be a standard rule in chinese language company that one should still carry thrice as many folks to every assembly as have been worthy.

If it is helping, we'll carve your time out of Bill’s agenda in order that any government who symptoms with us may have a quick chat and feature his photograph enthusiastic about invoice. inform them we'll have press on the occasion. possibly their photograph should be within the newspapers. that will aid to shut a couple of bargains. ” it may well look a wierd inducement: a photograph op as a part of a six-figure deal. but it was once really an enticing supply to many corporation executives. In China circa 1999, senior managers didn't earn their positions by way of being nice capitalists.

Ultimately, due to Marc Andreessen for being keen to take a position in a enterprise run through a Microsoft alumnus! Our most vital early investment got here from Jim Kastenholz and Jennifer Steans, Hilary Valentine, Stuart Kerr, Dena clean, Sarah Leary and Patte McDowell, and the workforce on the Cloud 9 beginning. Our first major partnership was once with the Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia software. TAF is an older origin, and we didn't count on them to wager on a brand new NGO like ours. We’re blissful they did, and we are hoping to be partnering jointly for many years to return!

Yet there have been already issues of existence in Beijing. The athlete in me was once struggling with existence in a bitter-cold and polluted urban. the shortcoming of public house for operating or biking used to be in sharp distinction to my past existence in Sydney and Seattle. My weight had shot up via ten kilos after simply months. I had a relentless cough as toxins caught in my throat. Morning in Nepal felt enlivening, life-affirming, and peaceable. My father used to be with me. I poured cups of milk tea as we greeted the day. I had by no means anticipated to shuttle with him to a spot this distant.

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