At a recent event hosted by the founders of Village Global, one of its most important investors, Bill Gates, spoke about the difficult decisions required almost every day to create a thriving business.
The founding counselor of Eventbrite Julia Hartz asked Bill Gates his views on the balance between work and personal life. The question came when Gates said, "I do not really believe in the holidays."
His answer, briefly:
No, not in the early years of the company and especially not if the company builds software platforms. As Gates told Hartz, "great sacrifices must be made during these early years, especially if you are trying to do some technical things."
In fact, Gates still blames himself for allowing Google to develop Android, a "standard non-Apple phone form form platform," as he describes it.
"It was natural for Microsoft to win."
You can find your whole conversation below, but here is Gates' complete answer translated from English:
The truth is that I did not believe in the weekends. I did not believe in the holidays….
Or as soon as I got into my 30s, I could not have imagined that I would enjoy the weekends. And, you know, my girlfriend liked the holidays. And that turned out to be a habit. Now I take a lot of vacations. My old self would definitely be disgusted with my current self.
But yes, it's nice if during these first years, you have a team of workaholics for your company….
Or yes, I have a pretty tough view that very big sacrifices should be made during the early years, especially if you are trying to do some technical things that need to be implemented immediately.
You know, in the software world, and especially on platforms, winners take all the markets. So you know that my biggest mistake ever is the mismanagement that made Microsoft not what Android is today, [meaning that Android is a standard non-Apple phone form platform. That's what Microsoft had to do.
It really does matter here that the winner gets it all. Or was there room for an operating system that did not belong to Apple, and what was it worth? $ 400 billion that could be transferred from company G [Google] to company M [Microsoft].
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