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Bill Gates

"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
"Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning."
"Business people need to shake off the notion that information is hard to get."
"It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
"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."
"Whether it's Google or Apple or free software, we've got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes."
"Only a few businesses will succeed by having the lowest price, so most will need a strategy that includes customer services."

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
"A bad strategy will fail no matter how good your information is, and lame execution will stymie a good strategy. If you do enough things poorly, you will go out of business."
"Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana."
"To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks."
"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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"Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player."
"If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act."
"In business, the idea of measuring what you are doing, picking the measurements that count, like customer satisfaction and performance ... you thrive on that."
"Of my mental cycles, I devote maybe 10 percent to business thinking. Business isn't that complicated. I wouldn't want to put it on my business card."
"[Intelligence is] 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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"Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world ... if you do so, you are insulting yourself."
"Customers want high quality at low prices and they want it now."
"Reward worthy failure--experimentation."
"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."
"Don't make the same decision twice. Spend time and thought to make a solid decision the first time so that you don't revisit the issue unnecessarily. If you're too willing to reopen issues, it interferes not only with your execution but also with your motivation to make a decision in the first place. After all, why bother deciding an issue if it isn't really decided?"
"A company's ability to respond to an unplanned event, good or bad, is a prime indicator of its ability to compete."
"Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other."
"If I had to say what is the thing that I feel best about, it's being involved in this whole software revolution and what comes out of that, because you can go all over the world and go into schools and see these computers being used and go into hospitals and see them being used, and see how they're tools for sharing information that hopefully leads to more peaceful conditions, and just the great research advances that come out of that."

Photo: DFID

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