Before launching Microsoft, Bill Gates was a Harvard University dropout and co-owner of a failed business called Traf-O-Data. Driven by his passion for computer programming, Gates built what would become the world’s largest software company. Microsoft went public in 1986, and by the next year its rising share price made then-31-year-old Gates the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
William Henry “Bill” Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and programmer. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates has authored and co-authored several books.
In the startup world, failure can be viewed as valuable feedback. As Bill Gates said, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
Gates, of course, is the richest man in the world, topping the Forbes Annual Ranking list 16 times in the past 21 years. But before launching Microsoft, he and Paul Allen were co-owners of a failed business called Traf-O-Data, a computerized machine for processing paper tapes from traffic counters. While the product went belly up, Gates and Allen used what they learned to go on and create the largest software company in the world.
Starting your own business is a risk in itself; there is no end to what can go wrong. But if you’re able to take your experiences and turn them into feedback you can learn from, you will be tougher and wiser. If you’re starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s a good time to ask yourself:
- Are you someone who can learn from failure?
- Are you self-aware enough to acknowledge failure and weakness?
- Do you take smart risks?
- How do you view risk, failure, and success?
Gates said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. You’ve got to want to be in this incredible feedback loop where you get the world-class people to tell you what you’re doing wrong.”
The old saying “failure is just a stepping stone towards success” can apply to any entrepreneur who wants to create something and who is willing to be imperfect and make mistakes. In order to learn what works and what does not, sometimes you have to crash and burn.
Here are some inspiring quotes by bill gates
1. It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
2. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
3. Life is not fair; get used to it.
4. If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.
5. 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.
6. Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
7. I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
8. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
9. 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.
10. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
11. Patience is a key element of success.
12. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.