True, I could have gone bankrupt, but you know I had a set of skills that were highly employable and in fact my parents were still willing to. Let me go back to Harvard and finish my education. If I wanted to – and so then I got this incredibly conservative approach that I wanted to have enough money in the bank to pay a year’s worth of payroll, even if we didn’t get in he any payments coming in [ Music ], one of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975.
When I made a call from courier house to a company in Albuquerque New Mexico that had begun making the world’s first personal computer, I offered to sell them software. I worried they would realize. I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me.
Instead, they said we’re, not quite ready, come see us in a month, which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the software. Yet from that moment i work day and night on the extra-credit project that marked the end of my college, education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.
If you’re gonna start a company, it takes so much energy that you know you it better overcome your your feeling of risk. I don ‘ T think that you necessarily if you’re gonna start a company should do it at the start of your career.
I think there’s, a lot to be said for working for a company learning how they do things when people are first skeptical and then go this kid. Doesn’t know anything. Then when you show them, you’ve. Really got a good product and you know something they actually tend to go overboard and they think whoa.
You know they know a lot. Let’s really do an incredible amount with these people. So our youth, at least in this country, was a huge asset for us. Once we reached a certain threshold, those those problems that come with starting the firm you better.
Think of those, as as part of the the pledge or part of the the challenge that that is part of the excitement – [, Music ], you can’t just keep doing the same old thing you were doing before. We have to take your skills and attack the new frontiers in the business of technology.
You have to think about what are you missing? What is the research or customer feedback, but you should be paying more attention to, and how do you keep that piece of innovation? Very very high: how do you make sure you’re, hiring the very best people and that kind of focuses has helped drive us forward through all the milestones the company has had you’ve got to enjoy what you do every day And for me that’s, working with very smart people, it’s working on new problems.
You know every time we think hey, we’ve had a little bit of success. We’re, pretty careful not to dwell on it too much, because the bar gets raised people’s. Expectations of the products we’ve, always got customer feedback telling us that machines are too complicated.
They’re, not they’re, not natural enough about 25 percent of the time that I’m out traveling around meeting with customers, Europe, Asia and that sort of helps me think. Okay, do we have the right priorities, but what are people responding well to and what would they they like to see us do better, the competition, the the breakthroughs, the research but the computer industry in particular software? You know, I I think is the most exciting and I think I have the best job in that in that business and you all have a chance to innovate.
If you’re thinking about your innovation and of course you should go after any market. Do you think is interested in it, but a little bit if you can also think ok, does this innovation apply to those most in need? You know what are you gonna do to make it cheap enough? Simple enough, you know, figure out how to get get it, so it really, if possible, can extend out to the poorest.
You know I wish I had learned more about that at a young age, and so you haven’t an opportunity to do that. [, Music, ], [, Music, ]. You