Bill Gates was recently in the news again when Bloomberg updated its billionaire rankings. It would appear the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist now has a net worth of $90 billion. That's a hard figure to imagine, so just remember that it surpasses billionaire investor Warren Buffett's $66.8 billion and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's scant sum of $54.7 billion.
Because of Gates' success and his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the tech genius has become a source of inspiration over the years, particularly for his quotes on life, technology, and business.
Here are just a handful of the most famous and inspirational Bill Gates quotes over the past few decades:
Quotes on life
Gates, a self-proclaimed nerd, has shared some insights to those who may feel the need to fit in:
Gates' successes are what initially made him a public figure, but most people now recognize him for his philanthropic work and his ideas on generosity. In a Telegraph interview back in 2013 he said:
I'm certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes ... Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.
And to ensure that his foundation has the most impact Gates has said that innovation is the key driver that brings about change. In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview he said:
Our modern lifestyle is not a political creation. Before 1700, everybody was poor as hell. Life was short and brutish. It wasn't because we didn't have good politicians; we had some really good politicians. But then we started inventing -- electricity, steam engines, microprocessors, understanding genetics and medicine and things like that. Yes, stability and education are important -- I'm not taking anything away from that -- but innovation is the real driver of progress.
Quotes on business
There are plenty of lessons to glean from Gates' career, and one famous bit of advice comes from his 1995 book, The Road Ahead, where Gates wrote:
When it comes to decision making, Gates suggests spending enough time weighing all the possibilities the first around:
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?
Quotes on technology
Of course, a compilation of Bill Gates quotes wouldn't be complete without some of his insights into technology and its role in our lives.
Speaking at Stanford University back in 2002, Gates told the audience what he thought his greatest work has been:
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.
Later, in 2007, Gates told an audience at the AllThingsD conference that: "The most important work I got a chance to be involved in, no matter what I do, is the personal computer."
If there's one takeaway from Bill Gates' quotes it's that companies, innovators, and investors can not only create good things and be successful, but also use their intellect, time, and their wealth to also help others. Gates said in 2013 that:
My wife and I had a long dialogue about how we were going to take the wealth that we're lucky enough to have and give it back in a way that's most impactful to the world.
Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.