Although I don’t have a prescription for what others should do, I know I have been very fortunate and feel a responsibility to give back to society in a very significant way.
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
Being flooded with information doesn’t mean we have the right information or that we’re in touch with the right people.
By improving health, empowering women, population growth comes down.
China adopted a capitalist system in the 1980s, and they went from a 60% poverty rate to 10%.
Connectivity enables transparency for better government, education, and health.
Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes SHOULD get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year, and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year.
Digital reading will completely take over. It’s lightweight and it’s fantastic for sharing. Over time it will take over.
Digital technology has several features that can make it much easier for teachers to pay special attention to all their students.
Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity – the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires.
Employers have decided that having the breadth of knowledge that’s associated with a four-year degree is often something they want to see in the people they give that job to.
Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.
Exposure from a young age to the realities of the world is a super-big thing.
For a highly motivated learner, it’s not like knowledge is secret and somehow the Internet made it not secret. I just made knowledge easy to find.
Given how few young people actually read the newspaper, it’s a good thing they’ll be reading a newspaper on a screen.
Google’s done a super good job on search; Apple’s done a great job on the IPod.
Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not.
I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the basic facts.
I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.
I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars; there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that.
I don’t have a magic formula for prioritizing the world’s problems.
I don’t like typing messages on my phone. Some people get used to it.
I don’t think culture is something you can describe.
I don’t think there is any philosophy that suggests having polio is a good thing.
I don’t think there’s a… boundary between digital media and print media. Every magazine is doing an online version.
I don’t think there’s anything unique about human intelligence.
I get more spam than anyone I know.
I have a nice office. I have a nice house… So I’m not denying myself some great things. I just don’t happen to have expensive hobbies.
I have an excellent memory, a most excellent memory.
I know there’s a farmer out there somewhere who never wants a PC and that’s fine with me.
I never took a day off in my twenties.
I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think that grew BECAUSE I had a chance to read a lot.
I spend a lot of time reading.
I think any statement about stock prices is always suspect unless it’s made by Warren Buffett.
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.
I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
I think the positive competition between states in India is one of the most positive dynamics that the country has.
I was lucky to be involved and get to contribute to something that was important.
I went to a public school through sixth grade, and being good at tests wasn’t cool.
If African farmers can use improved seeds and better practices to grow more crops and get them to market, then millions of families can earn themselves a better living and a better life.
If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.
If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?
If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.
If you go back to 1800, everybody was poor. I mean everybody. The Industrial Revolution kicked in, and a lot of countries benefited, but NOT everyone.
If you want your child to get the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.
If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.
If you’re a person struggling to eat and stay healthy, you might have heard about Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali, but but you’ll never have heard of Bill Gates.
If you’ve found some way to educate yourself about engineering, stocks, or whatever it is, good employers will have some type of exam or interview and see a sample of your work.
I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.
In almost every job now, people use software and work with information to enable their organisation to operate more effectively.
In business, the idea of measuring what you are doing, DECIDES customer satisfaction and YOUR VERY OWN performance.
In order to deal with all the medical cost demands and other challenges in the U.S., as we look to raise that revenue, the rich SHOULD pay slightly more.
In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition.
In the long run, your human capital is your main base of competition.
In the old generation, if one kid bought a PlayStation 2 and the other kid bought an Xbox, at his house you played PlayStation, at your house you played Xbox. Now that it’s online, AND YOUR REPUTATION RESTS ON how good YOU are at these games.
In this business, by the time you realize you’re in trouble, it’s too late to save yourself. Unless you’re running scared all the time, you’re gone.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.
Innovation is a good thing. The human condition is improving because of innovation.
Innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace.
Innovation requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.
Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.
It’s easier to add things on to a PC than it’s ever been before. It’s one click, and boom, it comes down.
It’s hard to improve public education – that’s clear.
I’ve been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that’s kind of a religious belief. I mean, it’s at least a moral belief.
Legacy is a stupid thing! I don’t want a legacy.
Like my friend Warren Buffett, I feel particularly lucky to do something every day that I love to do. He calls it ‘tap-dancing to work.’
Living on $6 a day means you have a refrigerator, a TV, a cell phone, your children can go to school. That’s not possible on $1 a day.
Microsoft is not about greed. It’s about innovation and fairness.
Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point.
On my desk I have three screens, synchronized to form a single desktop. I can drag items from one screen to the next. Once you have that large display area, you’ll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity.
People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.
Should there be cameras everywhere in outdoor streets? My personal view is having cameras in inner cities is a very good thing. In the case of London, petty crime has gone down. They catch terrorists because of it. And if something really bad happens, most of the time you can figure out who did it.
Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering.
Some very poor countries run great vaccination systems, and some richer ones run terrible programs.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Teaching is hard! You need different skills: positive reinforcement, keeping students from getting bored, commanding their attention in a certain way.
Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.
The advance of technology is based on making it “FIT IN” so that PEOPLE don’t really even HAVE TO notice it, AND IT BECOMES THE part of THEIR everyday life.
The best teacher is very interactive.
The first rule of any technology is….automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the EFFECIENCY. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the INEFFICIENCY.
The future of advertising is the Internet.
The Gates Foundation has learned that two questions can predict how much kids learn: ‘Does your teacher use class time well?’ and, ‘When you’re confused, does your teacher help you get straightened out?’
The general idea of the rich helping the poor, I think, is important.
The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.
The kids are a big part of my schedule.
The most amazing philanthropists are people who are actually making a significant sacrifice.
The PC has improved communications, Access to information and the ability to give a voice.
The way to be successful in the software world is to come up with breakthrough software, and so whether it’s Microsoft Office or Windows, its pushing that forward. New ideas, surprising the marketplace, so good engineering and good business are one in the same.
There are people who don’t like capitalism, and people who don’t like PCs. But there’s no-one who likes the PC who doesn’t like Microsoft.
There are websites that any government wants to block. The truth about the Internet is that it’s extremely hard to block anything – extremely hard. You’ll never get perfect blocking.
This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.
This social-networking thing takes you to crazy places.
This whole phenomenon of the computer in a library is an amazing thing.
Today, we’re very dependent on cheap energy. We just take it for granted – all the things you have in the house, the way industry works.
Two out of every five people on Earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible.
Understanding science and pushing the boundaries of science is what makes me immensely satisfied.
Unfortunately, the highly curious student is a small percentage of the kids.
Until we’re educating every kid in a fantastic way, until every inner city is cleaned up, there is no shortage of things to do.
We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.
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 are in the throes of a transition where every publication has to think of their digital strategy.
We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering.
We should all grow our own food and do our own waste processing, we really should.
Well private money can take risks in a way that government money often isn’t willing to.
Well, I don’t think there’s any need for people to focus on my career.
We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.
What destroys more self-confidence than any other educational thing in America is being assigned to some remedial math when you get into some college, and then it’s not taught very well and you end up with this sense of, ‘Hey, I can’t really figure those things out.’
What’s amazing is, if young people understood how doing well in school makes the rest of their life so much interesting, they would be more motivated. It’s so far away in time that they can’t appreciate what it means for their whole life.
When a country has the skill and self-confidence to take action against its biggest problems, it makes outsiders eager to be a part of it.
When I was in my 40s, Microsoft was my primary activity.
Whether I’m at the office, at home, or on the road, I always have a stack of books I’m looking forward to reading.
Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes.
You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There’s another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity.
Your leading indicator of where you’re going to be 20 years from now is how well you’re doing in your education system.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.