20 Quotes Show Us How Bill Gates Became The World's Second Richest Man

Bill GatesBill Gates in 1999

Photo: AP

Forbes put out its annual list of the world’s richest people today.Right there at the top is Bill Gates, with $67 billion.

How’d he get so rich?

Mainly because, more than other entrepreneur, Gates is the reason you’re using a personal computing device to look at this story right now.

When someone who has done, and is doing, such an incredible things – and has something to say – it’s worth listening.

'Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe 10 per cent to business thinking. Business isn't that complicated. I wouldn't want to put it on my business card.'

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On religion

'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.'

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On unhappy customers

'Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.'

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On telling employees the truth, quickly

'If I think something's a waste of time or inappropriate I don't wait to point it out. I say it right away. It's real time. So you might hear me say 'That's the dumbest idea I have ever heard' many times during a meeting.'

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On youthful entitlement and self-esteem

'The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.'

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On boring parents

'Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.'

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On Steve Jobs

'The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour. I will miss Steve immensely.'

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'It's 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 insightful 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.'

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On fairness

'Life's not fair, get over it!'

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On comparing yourself to others

'Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world...if you do so, you are insulting yourself.'

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On nerds

'Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.'

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On using fear as a motivator

'In this business, by the time you realise you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone.'

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On success

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

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On failure

'It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.'

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On using technology to make a business more efficient

'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.'

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On the short term versus the medium term

'We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.'

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On education and poverty

'Until we're educating every kid in a fantastic way, until ever inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do.'

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On capitalism

'Capitalism is this wonderful thing that motivates people, it causes wonderful inventions to be done. But in this area of disease of the world at large, it's really let us down.'

'Creative capitalism takes this interest in the fortunes of others and ties it to our interest in our own fortunes in ways that help advance both. This hybrid engine of self-interest and concern for others can serve a much wider circle of people than can be reached by self-interest or caring alone'.

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On intellectual property

'Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.'

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On getting good grades

'I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.'

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Steve Jobs had some pretty interesting things to say, too

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