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#174 Bill Gates (Overdrive)
April 5th, 2021 | E174

What I learned from reading Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace by James Wallace.


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There would be an industry breakthrough unimagined at the time, and it would be made by a company that didn’t yet exist. [7:55]

Another corollary to Joys Law of Innovation was that the number of bright people in any company went down as the size went up. [10:47]

As Apple founder Steve Jobs liked to say: When you are at simplicity, there ain’t no complexity. [12:49]

Gates looks at everything as something that should be his. He acts in any way he can to make it his. It can be an idea, market share, or a contract. There is not an ounce of conscientiousness or compassion in him. The notion of fairness means nothing to him. The only thing he understands is leverage. [17:21]

I became convinced that Microsoft was building the last minicomputer. That the Microsoft Network was based on the notion that your competitors were the model — proprietary online services like America Online — and that the reality was that the Internet was going to be such a fundamental paradigm shift, that you needed to think about your strategies fundamentally differently. [28:08]

The single most powerful pattern I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas. — Zero to One [29:25]

Most college kids knew much more than we did because they were exposed to it. If I had wanted to connect to the Internet, it would have been easier for me to get into my car and drive over to the University of Washington than to try and get on the Internet at Microsoft. [31:12]

For years , Gates had Kahn in his sights. Kahn recalled that he once had found Gates at an industry conference in the late 1980s sitting alone in a corner, looking at a photograph in his hands. “It was a picture of me,” said Kahn. [41:16]

It’s not in Microsoft’s bones to cooperate with other companies. [42:47]


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