I really had a lot of
dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out
of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.
I believe that through our natural inventiveness,
creativity and willingness to
problems, we're going to make some amazing
achievements in all these
areas in my lifetime.
I like my job because it involves
I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new
things. I like the fact that if people really try they can figure out
how to invent things that actually have an impact.
Intelligence is an elusive concept. There's a certain sharpness, an
ability to absorb new facts. To walk into a situation, have something
explained to you and immediately say, "Well, what about this?" To ask an
question. To absorb it in real time. A capacity to remember. To
relate to domains that may not seem connected at first. A certain
creativity that allows
people to be effective.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces
smart people into thinking they
It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the
lessons of failure.
Once you embrace unpleasant news not as
negative but as evidence of a need for
change, you aren't defeated by
learning from it.
Capitalism is this wonderful thing that
motivates people, it causes
wonderful inventions to be done.
If I had to say what is the thing that I feel best about, it's
being involved in this whole software revolution and what comes out of
that, because you can go all over the world and go into schools and see
these computers being used and go into hospitals and see them being
used, and see how they're tools for sharing information that hopefully
leads to more peaceful conditions, and just the great research advances
that come out of that.
When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had
big dreams about software. We had dreams about
the impact it could have. We talked
about a computer on every desk and in every home. It's been amazing to
see so much of that
dream become a reality and touch so many lives. I never
imagined what an incredible and important company would spring from
those original ideas.
Apple or free software, we've got some
keeps us on our toes.
Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe ten
percent to business
isn't that complicated. I wouldn't want to put it on my business card.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably
interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one
without talking about
Virtually everything in business today is an
commodity, except how a company manages its information. How you manage
information determines whether you
or lose. How you use information may be the one factor that determines
its failure or success – or runaway success.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation
applied to an efficient operation will magnify the
efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient
operation will magnify the inefficiency.
We always overestimate the
change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the
change that will occur in the next ten.
yourself be lulled into
Don't make the same decision twice. Spend time and thought to
make a solid decision the first time so that you don't revisit the
issue unnecessarily. If you're too willing to reopen issues, it
interferes not only with your execution but also with your
to make a decision in the first place. After all, why bother deciding an
issue if it isn't really decided?
We are living in a phenomenal age. If we can spend the early decades of
the 21st century finding approaches that meet the needs of the poor in
ways that generate profits and recognition for business, we will have
found a sustainable way to reduce poverty in the world.
Microsoft is a company that manages
We're focused on providing
innovations in software, driving
continuous improvement for a much
better experience, and there's a lot going on here that speaks to this
decade and what's going to happen in this decade. We can kind of sum it
up in terms of saying, "Yes, you can."
Every day were saying, 'How can we
keep this customer happy?' How can we
get ahead in
innovation by doing this, because if we don't, somebody
You need to know about
that says things should be better.
Your most unhappy
customers are your
source of learning.
Learning from mistakes and
improving products is a key in all
Listening to customers is a big
part of that effort. You have to study what customers say about their
problems with your products and stay tuned into what they want,
extrapolating from leading-edge buyers to predict future requirements.
As we look ahead into the next century,
leaders will be those who
Great organizations demand a high level of commitment by the people
If you give people tools, [and they use] their natural ability and their
curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will
you very much beyond what you might have expected.
is really about
empowering workers, giving them all the
information about what's going on so they can do a lot more than they've
done in the past.
I believe that if you show people the
problems and you show them the
solutions they will be moved to act.
You've got to give great tools to small
teams. Pick good people, use
give them excellent tools... so that they are very
productive in terms of what they are doing.