Business

24 Jun 2019

Bill Gates reveals his super important business 'screw up'

Over the last 44 years, Bill Gates has transformed Microsoft into one of the biggest technology conglomerates in the world.

His work with Windows, Office, and other software products has created an ideal desktop ecosystem to match with Apple.

But, just recently, Gates revealed about the one mistake he wished he hadn't made while building Microsoft into a thriving enterprise.

Here's all about it.

Mistake

Overlooking Android in a 'winner-take-all market'

Overlooking Android in a 'winner-take-all market'

Speaking with Eventbrite co-founder Julia Hartz at a recent event, Gates spoke about his work at Microsoft and the decisions he had to take to build the company into what it is.

He claimed that the platform category is a 'winner-take-all market' and his mismanagement at some point allowed Google to develop Android, which, he said, was a "natural thing for Microsoft to win."

Microsoft missed the 'standard non-Apple phone form platform'

"You know," Gates told Hartz, "the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win."

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The company

This could have made Microsoft 'the company,' Gates added

As the conversation progressed, Gates claimed that Microsoft dominates one of the leading tech companies but if they had made Android or something similar first, they would have claimed the top spot.

"Our other assets, Windows, Office, are still very strong," he emphasized. "We are a leading company. If we got that one right, we would be the company. But oh well."

Magnification

Small ideas can magnify themselves

Small ideas can magnify themselves

Gates emphasized small differences can magnify in the future, especially in the software business.

"If you're a service business, it doesn't exist. But for software platforms, it's absolutely gigantic," he said while reiterating the case of Microsoft where they "screw up a super important one" and missed Android.

He also spoke about how he didn't take any vacations in Microsoft's early years of development.

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