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5 Bill Gates Quotes That Show How the Microsoft Founder Became the World’s Wealthiest Man

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5 Bill Gates Quotes That Show How the Microsoft Founder Became the World’s Wealthiest Man


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Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in the world With a net worth of $76 billion, according to Forbes, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s wealthiest person. Although he now owns less than 5% of Microsoft, most of  his wealth is the byproduct of creating one of the world’s most successful software companies. Source: Kees de Vos via Wikimedia Commons


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“That's the dumbest idea I have ever heard!” As an executive, Gates was known to be combative and demanding. In an interview with Playboy in 1994, Gates admitted to frequently dismissing his subordinates’ ideas during meanings. Characterizing a new idea as the “dumbest” he had ever heard was a common refrain, one that he would frequently use multiple times in a meeting. Source: Kees de Vos via Wikimedia Commons


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A brutal manager Bill Gates’ brutal management style was reflected in Microsoft’s business practices. Microsoft’s strong position in the operating systems market, as well as its ruthless targeting of Netscape Navigator, led the Justice Department to target Microsoft on antitrust grounds. Source: Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia Commons


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“I’m very confused about what you’re asking.” In a lengthy deposition, Gates verbally sparred with Justice Department attorney David Boies. One particular line of questioning so amused the Federal Judge presiding over the case that he erupted in laughter. In an email to a subordinate, Gates wrote that “winning Internet browser share” was an important goal. When Boies asked him what companies he would include in the browser market, Gates seemed to feign confusion. Source: Wikimedia Commons


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“In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself.” Also in the Playboy interview, Gates expressed a deep sense of paranoia, at least in terms of the tech industry. To remain successful, Gates argued, tech companies needed to be “running scared all the time.” He remarked that a once-dominant tech giant like IBM could recover but would never again have the same status it once enjoyed. Source: Wikimedia Commons


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Microsoft has lost its monopoly Somewhat ironically, Gates’ opinion of IBM appears to apply to modern-day Microsoft. Although shares of the software giant have outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past two years, Microsoft no longer enjoys its operating system monopoly. Source: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons


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Microsoft’s share of the mobile market is tiny The creation of touch-screen tablets and smartphones has allowed competitors like Apple to successfully shatter Window’s dominance. Microsoft’s operating system still powers the vast majority of traditional PCs, but its share of the tablet and smartphone market remains in the single digits. Source: Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons


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“I think that in this decade, the tablet-PC form factor will kick off.” It wasn’t lack of foresight that led Microsoft to lose its dominant position. Gates was actually an early promoter of the tablet-PC concept, and he predicted, in a 2001 interview with PC Magazine, that the tablet PC would eventually emerge as a successful device. Source: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons


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Microsoft’s early tablets were a failure Microsoft’s hardware partners released some Windows XP-powered tablets, but none of them found much success. Instead it was Apple, nine years after Gate’s original prediction, defining the space with its touch-focused first-generation iPad. Source: Wikimedia Commons


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Microsoft remains committed to the tablet PC, in some ways to a greater extent than Apple. Rather than ship a Windows tablet with a distinct operating system, Microsoft’s Windows 8 offers a hybrid solution that merges the desktop with a touch-focused tile interface. The recently unveiled Surface Pro 3 may be the ultimate embodiment of Gates’ original vision -- a tablet that can replace a PC. Source: Wikimedia Commons Microsoft remains committed to Gates’ vision


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“My charitable giving is not impressive.” Gates is one of the most charitable people in history, having given away more than $26 billion. Still, he remains modest about his donations, in light of his overall wealth. According to Business Insider, Gates once told a group of tech leaders that he was far more impressed by donations from people of modest means. Although this sentiment may not directly explain how Gates built his fortune, it embodies a consistent frame of mind. A commitment to running scared, understanding the tech landscape, and staying humble may have been the traits necessary to elevate Microsoft to the top of the tech world. Source: Wikimedia Commons


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Now learn about Warren Buffett


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