5 Life-Changing Advice for success from Bill Gates, Microsoft

Rule number one:  Keep learning new things

Question: “ You went to Harvard and you’re dropped out have you ever thought how your life could be better off if you had gotten your Harvard degree?”

Bill Gates: “ Well, I’m a weird dropout because I take college courses all the time. I love learning company courses and things so I love being a student and there were smart people around and you know they fed you and they gave you these nice grades that      made you feel smart so I feel it was unfortunate that I didn’t get to stay there but I don’t think I missed any knowledge because you know whatever I needed to learn I would I was still in a learning mode.”

Rule number two: Don’t take things personally

Question: ” You have four years ever since you were a little boy has been called a nerd do you care, does it hurt you?”

Bill Gates: “ Well, nerd means a lot of things I’m somebody who can sit and read a book about science for hours on end and you know I don’t mind being labeled as somebody who finds that interesting.”

Question: ” There is hardly a day in which something is not written about Microsoft it has become almost a frenzy you’re being called the evil empire you forget being called a nerd you are now being called arrogant greedy the devil read all this stuff I heard that this has been said what do you say about all of this?”

Bill Gates: “ Well it’s a very competitive business and I don’t know absolutely when you have the level of success that we’ve had when you have a business that’s important as this with this many competitors you’re going to have people saying some nasty things and so you have to learn a little bit not to take it too personally.”

Rule number three: Have energy

Bill Gates: “ When I started Microsoft I didn’t think of it as all that risky I mean I was so excited about what we were doing it’s true I could have gone bankrupt but you know I had a set of skills that were highly employable and in fact my parents were still willing to let me go back to Harvard and finish my education if I wanted to, the only the thing that was scary to me wasn’t quitting and starting the company it was when I started hiring my friends and they expected to be paid and then we had customers who went bankrupt customers that I counted on to come through and so then I got this incredibly conservative approach that I wanted to have enough money in the bank to pay a year’s worth of payroll even if we didn’t get in heat any payments coming in and I’m almost heard of that the whole time we have about ten billion now which is pretty much enough for the next year anyway you know I if you’re gonna start a company it takes so much energy that you know you it better overcome your feeling of risk I don’t think that you necessarily if you’re gonna start a company should do it at the start of your career I think there’s a lot to be said for working for a company learning how they do things you know if you’re young it’s hard to go lease premises they made that hard for me you couldn’t rent a car when you were under 25 at the time so I was always taking taxis to go see customers and people would you know people say well  we’re gonna go have a discussion in the bar well I could go to the bar and you know that’s fun because I’ll tell you when people are first skeptical and then go this kid doesn’t know anything then when you show them you’ve really got a      good product and you know something they actually tend to go overboard and they think whoa you know they know a lot let’s really do an incredible amount with these people so our youth at least in this country was a huge asset for us once we reached a certain threshold it is hard it’s hard to hire old older people because they’ll be a little bit conservative about whether they should come in and take the risk and it took three or four years before we could go out into the normal sort of employment pool but those problems that come with starting the firm you better think of those as part of the the pleasure part of the challenge that that is part of the excitement.”

Rule number four: Be a problem-solver

Question: “ My question to you is if you suddenly find yourself to say a sophomore in college at Harvard what do you think you would study and how do you think you’d spend your time engaging activities?”

Bill Gates: “ Well the thing that you’re likely to be world-class at is whatever you obsessed over from say age 12 to 18 you know in my case it was writing software where I would think I was good and then I would meet somebody who would tell me I wasn’t and I would look at  their code and I went through four sort      of comeuppance –is of oh that’s what a really good programmer looks like and part of the reason I worship digital equipment was eventually it was a couple of their very best programmers who came and shared with me how they thought about it how they did thing and I had studied their code and that and there were several people who were so key am i doing that so today I would go into you know software which today that means going into artificial intelligence you know computers still can’t read they cannot take a book of information and say pass an AP test on that book and that’s a solvable problem but it’s a knowledge representation problem and you know I’ve always wanted to solve problem I’m jealous that maybe one of you gets to work on that I’m you know unlikely to go back and be hands-on in that in that way but it’s the juiciest problem ever I’ve thought about it for a long time so I would go into AI.”

Rule number five: Find your obsession

Bill Gates: “ Computers, when I was young, were super expensive and my friend Paul Allen and I actually snuck into places at the University of Washington where they had computers that weren’t being used at night and so we were fascinated by what the computer could do but very few people are getting the exposure we had to go out of our way and we were lucky that we did it all and so then when the idea of moving the computer onto a chip that Intel would make and that would make the computer literally millions of times cheaper than the ones we were using so both more powerful and available to people on a personal level than the idea of okay it would be very different the software you needed the way the industry would work we were super lucky to be there when that was happening.”

Question: “ So what did your family think did they say there’s something wrong with this young man he wants to just do computers?”

Bill Gates: “ They knew I was obsessed with computers that I would skip athletics, that I go in overnight, that I leave the house sometimes when they prefer I wouldn’t go work at night on these things and so it was kind of considered a little strange and the big moment was when I said instead of going to part of my senior year that I wanted to go work for a company writing software so they were great about allowing that to be my hobby.”

Thank you, Please don’t forget to follow us on social media for regular updates.

Scroll to Top