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Quotes of the day: Bill Gates

Published Monday, October 27, 2014 @ 9:29 PM EDT
Oct 27 2014

William Henry "Bill" Gates III (b. October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor. Gates is the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time. (1987)

I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know.

If something is expensive to develop, and somebody's not going to get paid, it won't get developed. So you decide: Do you want software to be written, or not?

If you can't make it good, at least make it look good.

If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions they will be moved to act.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.

It's not manufacturers trying to rip anybody off or anything like that. There's nobody getting rich writing software that I know of. (1980)

Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record.

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.

Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.

Technology arms the bad guys with orders of magnitude more power. Not just bad guys. Crazy guys.

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.

The world is not flat and PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs.

There's a true schizophrenia where if you say to voters, you know, do you think the federal government spends too much money and they should spend less, they say yeah, absolutely. Then you name specific things, like Pell grants for students and they say, no, not that. How 'bout NIH, medical research funding? Nah, you really shouldn't cut that. And pretty soon you've proved that what the American public is against is arithmetic.

There's only one trick in software, and that is using a piece of software that's already been written. (1989)

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering.

We've done some good work, but all of these products become obsolete so fast... It will be some finite number of years, and I don't know the number- before our doom comes.

You have to have a certain realism that government is a pretty­ blunt instrument and without the constant attention of highly qualified people with the right metrics, it will fall into not doing things very well.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.


(October 28 is also the birthday of Evelyn Waugh.)

Categories: Bill Gates, Quotes of the day


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