I am Walter O'Brien the inspiration behind the CBS show "Scorpion". I'm an ex-hacker who manages a genius think tank to solve world problems. AMA

At age 15, I'm currently at the point where I should be considering my career options. Life goal number one (not life goal number zero - that's to live forever) for me has been to at some point have at least a billion dollars for about as long as I can remember. It seems to me that, given my skill set and interests, the best way for me to do this is by entrepreneuring or perhaps just business-managing in the tech industry. So, as a huge fan of Google, I decided about six months ago that being the CEO of Google is my primary objective in life; I'm smart enough to have a pretty good chance at pulling it off, and there's much less competition to become the CEO of Google than there is to grow your own start-up into a multi-billion-dollar corporation. Everybody wants to start their own company; not many want to take over an existing favorite. Plus, if I fail to become the CEO of Google or decide I don't want to be, I could always try for one of the many other companies I like, or I could still decide to start my own company after all.

(That and there's no time limit on starting my own company, while there may be one on the Google thing - Larry Page and Sergey Brin are likely to step down in 2024, and their replacements will probably be in place running the company for quite a long time before I get another chance.)

However, both Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are pretty hard to get in touch with; plus, as much admiration as I have for them, I don't really identify with either one personally. So, barred from being able to get input from somebody who knows what it's like to be CEO of Google firsthand, I decided I'd email you; though it isn't Google, you do seem to have experience being in a CEO-like position at a company with a similar corporate structure to Google, albeit considerably smaller. You have over a billion dollars, I know your email address, and, very importantly, out of all the tech figureheads I've ever been a fan of, you're the one I identify with most strongly (a simple example being the fact that you're a brony).

So, without further adieu, here is my point:

Recently, I've begun to worry about the prospect of being a tech industry CEO, on grounds of the fact that all of them are extremely busy. It's not the workload that intimidates me; the job itself, I think, would be an enjoyable way to spend time. It's the fact that I'm afraid it may be something which goes beyond work, and takes over your entire lifestyle. I'm worried that, if I were to become CEO of Google, I'd have to be ready to make a crucial decision or get to the Googleplex at a moment's notice, 24/7. In this hypothetical outcome, I'd never be able to take vacations, I'd never be able to spend a few hours ignoring calls to pay attention to my family, etc. What's the point of having an $18.7 billion net worth if you never get the chance to spend a few hours walking around your city, throwing money at homeless people, stealing people's cars and replacing them with newer models, or filling every paid parking space in the city with an old car, not paying the meters, and having the cars towed, only to put each one back, and the city can't stop you because you can afford to keep paying the fines, and they don't have enough tow trucks to keep up with you?

This hypothetical outcome scares me, not because I think it's likely, but because I might have no way of finding out whether it's the case until it's too late. By the time I'm close enough with any big tech industry leaders to know what their lives are like, I've already devoted my life to getting there; it's too late to change my mind and try making a billion dollars some other way. And, even though I can rationally back it up, the statement "The CEO of Google probably isn't too busy" still sounds rather laughable.

So, I decided I would ask you. If any of these are too personal, feel free to tell me off, but if not, answers would be greatly appreciated.

Do you get to spend a lot of time with your wife/kids? What would happen if you spontaneously decided to take a week-long vacation because nothing particularly important was happening at work that week? What if you took a week-long vacation but planned it ahead of time? About how many days do you spend at work each year?

Essentially, how much of your life is controlled by working at VALVe, and how busy do you feel it makes you?

Again, I apologize if any of that's too personal. I appreciate your time reading this, and hope to hear from you.
/r/IAmA Thread