Diet Orange Crush: Microsoft’s secret weapon?

DietorangecrushTwice a year, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates retreats to a waterfront cottage in the Pacific Northwest to read dozens of papers from colleagues on the future of technology, according to a March 28 front-page story in The Wall Street Journal. (If you’ve got a sub to the WSJ Online, you can read it here; if not, you can read this synopsis from the New York Daily News, which the paper filed under "Daily Dirt & Gossip.") He spends a week looking for powerful business ideas, at times emailing their authors, thereby triggering excitement and further research. Some days he reads for up to 18 hours, at times skipping meals but not one of his favorite sodas: Diet Orange Crush. In fact, a few years ago he had a small refrigerator and bathroom installed in an upstairs study "so he could maximize his reading time by not having to go downstairs," the Journal reports. The fridge is stocked with Diet Orange Crush and Diet Coke. Orange Crush, a Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages brand that dates back to 1916, also appeared in the subhead to the 1,965-word peak inside Think Week ("Security and Mapping Ideas—Grilled Cheese, Orange Crush"). Clearly, with a single email Gates can chart Microsoft’s priorities for years to come. AdFreak wonders, however, what his fetish for Crush can do for soda sales.

—Posted by Andrew McMains