As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.
Vaccination is one of the easiest things on the way to development. It's much easier than roads and a great education system. It's very basic. It's one of the first things you want to get right.
Scientists and companies weren't creating things like new vaccines. Now that we have this fund that's there to buy at the lowest price, but buy for those people these medicines, we see scientists everywhere coming up with those new tools.
Software is the magic thing whose importance only goes up over time.
The best way to prepare to be a programmer is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.
Life is a lot more fun if you treat its challenges in creative ways.
Some very poor countries run great vaccination systems, and some richer ones run terrible programs.
Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering.
Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering. When you finally get done and get to appreciate what you have done it is like a part of yourself that you've put together. I think a lot of the people here feel that way.
Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that's available 24 hours a day.
The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what's going on so they can do a lot more than they've done in the past.
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.
I'm in the same traffic as everybody else. I'm in the same airplane delay as everybody else. I sit in the same coach seat as everybody else.
The impact of improving health is that the population growth goes down, and so you can educate more kids, feed more kids.
When you swing for the fences, you're putting every ounce of strength into hitting the ball as far as possible. You know that your bat might miss the ball entirely--but that if you succeed in making contact, the rewards can be huge.
The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity. To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.
I set a rule that people weren't allowed to send good news unless they sent around an equal amount of bad news. We had to get a balanced picture. In fact, I kind of favored just hearing about the accounts we were losing because ... bad news is generally more actionable than good news.
There was a magical breakthrough when the computer became cheap and we could see that everyone could afford a computer.
Energy is actually harder; it takes more time to get a product, but if you do it's a very, very big market and the constraints of doing that in a clean way are more obvious all the time.
The flatter the corporate hierarchy, the more likely it is that employees will communicate bad news and act upon it.
The CEO's role in raising a company's corporate IQ is to establish an atmosphere that promotes knowledge sharing and collaboration.
American dependence on oil has only gone up as we've gone through various crises and not invested in RandD.
The vision is that people should have the ultimate in convenience. Being able to get the things they care about on the appropriate device.
The most important people is to pick people who like to write software and who are good at... good developers like working with each other. And they... they reinforce each other's skills.
The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.
Microsoft looks at new ideas, they don't evaluate whether the idea will move the industry forward, they ask, 'how will it help us sell more copies of Windows?
Bill Gates' Success Factors for Microsoft 1. Long-term Approach 2. Passion for Products and Technology 3. Teamwork 4. Results 5. Customer Feedback 6. Individual Excellence.
I believe that every life is valuable. That we can make things better. That innovation is the key to a bright future. That we're just getting started.
When you write a piece of software you assume a certain type of hardware. If you assume hardware that's too powerful then you can't sell many copies cause very few people have that machine. If you assume hardware that's too simple your product can't do as much.
The most important thing was the creation of a... a standard, where hundreds of companies build hardware that can all run the same software.
Of all the statistics in health, death is the easiest, because you can go out and ask people, Hey, have you had any children who died, did your siblings have any children who died? People don't forget that.
Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It's a good thing we have museums to document that.
It's been proven that of all the interventions to reduce poverty, improving agricultural productivity is the best.
You know, I'm a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard -- in other words a netbook -- will be the mainstream on that.
In three years, every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make them obsolete or somebody else will.
Today, we take the risk of nuclear war quite seriously, climate change not so much and epidemics least of all. But no single country, not even the United States, is well prepared. And even if one country is doing the right things to protect itself, it has to be a global thing.
You might say, well, aren't people saying that about wind and solar today? Not really. Only in the super-narrow sense that the capital costs per output, when the wind is blowing, is slightly lower.
If you rely too much on the people in other countries and other companies, in a sense that's your brain and you are outsourcing your brain.
With polio, we've gone several years with no polio in all of Africa, but now with this we're having to go and mop up in that whole region, so it's a bit of a setback for polio. So in parallel we have to go back and get rid of those cases.
In software you can't really add people and expect to get more done, because their ability to understand the program and what's going on it would require so much investment and all their work would require so much review that you'd be more likely to slow things down.
This is not about trade, no one is a stronger supporter of capitalism and trade than I am. This is about sovereignty and whether a country has the right to set its own public health policies.
When you program, you want to think you're writing the best possible program for the... for the task you're trying to solve.
Well the Global Fund, because of how well it's worked on not only AIDS, but also malaria and tuberculosis, I'd say it's well accepted. I mean, it's not politically controversial that this is a great humanitarian effort. But budgets are very very tight.
It's pretty amazing to go from a world where computers were unheard of and very complex to where they're a tool of everyday life.
(On being the world's richest man) I wish I wasn't ... There's nothing good that comes out of that. You get more visibility as a result of it.
If you take from the most wealthy and give to the least wealthy, it's good. It tries to balance out.
There are websites that any government wants to block. The truth about the Internet is that it's extremely hard to block anything -- extremely hard. You'll never get perfect blocking.
I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in.
Finally, assuming that many of those are fulfilled, which won't be easy in tight budget times, we're taking the supply side at the basic research level, because that's where government is absolutely fundamental.
People who say they don't see the acceleration of innovation is a wilful blindness. We are innovation at a wonderful speed for the basic things we think everyone should get.
The returns from investing in poor people are just as great as the returns from investing in the business world... and have even more meaning.
The United States has a huge budget deficit so taxes are going to have to go up and I certainly agree they should go up more on the rich than everyone else. That -- that's just justice.
There's a basic philosophy here that by empowering...workers you'll make their jobs far more interesting, and they'll be able to work at a higher level than they would have without all that information just a few clicks away.
Don't let complexity stop you.
Don't let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.
Another trick in software is to avoid rewriting the software by using a piece that's already been written, so called component approach which the latest term for this in the most advanced form is what's called Object Oriented Programming.
We're responsible for the creation of the PC industry. The whole idea of compatible machines and lots of software -- that's something we brought to computing. And so it's a responsibility for us to make sure that things like security don't get in the way of that dream.
The market does not drive the scientists, the communicators, the thinkers, the government to do the right things.
Our current expectations for what our students should learn in school were set ﬁfty years ago to meet the needs of an economy based on manufacturing and agriculture. We now have an economy based on knowledge and technology.
Kids are taking PCs and the Internet to new heights. They're the ones that are designing the cutting-edge web sites.
When AIDS emergency broke out and was killing millions in Africa, the Global Fund was created so that a level of generosity would show up and buy the medicines to save those lives.
Programs today get very fat; the enhancements tend to slow the program down because people put in special checks. When they want to add some feature, they'll just stick in these checks without thinking about how they might slow the thing down.
The job was to put into a, a computer with only 4K of memory an entire basic full blown, floating point Basic and that's one of the greatest programming feats I've ever had a chance to work on.
We all have the chance to create a world where extreme poverty is the exception rather than the rule.
Life is not a continuous process, there's some sort of finite number of achievements that defines your life.
People think about this idea that there's 122 million kids that are alive that would not be if that fatality rate had stayed at the 1990 level, that's 122 million families.
The U.S. and Canada are two generous governments and we reach out and partner with anyone who believes in foreign aid.
It is hard to sell Congress and the American people on foreign aid. Is it harder to do that than it is to sell billionaires on the idea that they should give all their money away.
I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages. I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese.
I believe technology will continue to become more affordable and more people will have the chance to use it. This will help more people get medical care and a good education.
Africa is the one continent where you still have a lot more young people than old people. So making sure they're healthy, good nutrition, good education. That'll be important for the world.
My job is about the most fun thing I do, but I have a broad set of interests, going places, reading things, doing things.
I like my job because it involves learning. I like being around smart people who are trying to figure out new things. I like the fact that if people really try they can figure out how to invent things that actually have an impact.
I believe that with great wealth comes great responsibility, a responsibility to give back to society and a responsibility to see that those resources are put to work in the best possible way to help those most in need.
You wish that you could move more rapidly and you have setbacks. You know, the AIDS epidemic was a huge setback for Africa, and it's only through generosity that we've avoided that just completely crippling an entire generation there.
The idea of explaining why free trade is good, why immigration is good, why the world is so connected, that we need to think in terms of humanity and being generous to each other, you know, that's proving to be a challenge.
Even for the diseases we don't focus on, cancer, heart disease, you're going to be way better off being sick 10 years from now than any time in the past.
If you want to improve the situation of the poorest two billion on the planet, having the price of energy go down substantially would be the best thing you could do for them.
The trick generally is to break programs into pieces and have those pieces be individually testable and so then when you move on to the other pieces you treat it as a black box knowing that it either works or doesn't work.
Any machine that can run a browser is not thin. The browser has to be the thickest application man has ever invented, and it's getting thicker faster than anything ever development by man.
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it opportunity.
When I say miracle I mean a kind of thing like a computer on a chip, or the internet, or the cellphone, that are really quite miraculous. Most people would not have predicted them, and their effect has been very, very dramatic.
Setting clear goals and finding measures that will mark progress toward them can improve the human condition.
We paired this announcement of the RandD commitment with the so-called Breakthrough Energy Coalition, which is 27 major investors saying, Hey, we'll put significant money into energy innovations when they're ready to spin out probably into startup companies.
Microsoft has had its success by doing low-cost products and constantly improving those products and we've really redefined the IT industry to be something that's about a tool for individuals.
If you're asking whether I intentionally mess up my hair, no, I don't. And certain things, like my freckles, they're just there. I don't do anything consciously. I suppose I could get contact lenses. I suppose I could comb my hair more often.
The billion people who wake up every day trying to figure out if they have enough food to eat won't be at Davos.
We need a malaria epidemic in the blogging community! Either that or we need people who have seen the malaria epidemic to start blogging.
We need to cooperate globally on epidemic preparedness and prevention in the same way we are cooperating globally to stop people from getting nuclear weapons.
I don't believe in creating dynastic wealth.
I don't really believe that in a society that aspires to be meritocratic and that believes in equality of opportunity -- my kids have had advantage over 99 percent of the kids in the country.
In the same way that when the car got going, people thought it would be an electric car, people thought it would be a steam car.
In the same way that when the car got going, people thought it would be an electric car, people thought it would be a steam car. Actually, the dark horse in that race was internal combustion, but because of the energy density of gasoline and discovery of oil in large amounts at that point in first Pennsylvania and then Texas, it won out over those other two, to the point that those other two are actually viewed as obscure footnotes in history.
I find golf very relaxing. It's a way to get away from work and get outside. It's a lot of fun, and once you get going it's almost kind of addictive.
The huge turnout for Live 8 here and around the world proves that thanks to the leadership from people like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown the world is beginning to demand more action on global health and poverty.
Our work in global health is about things like cutting childhood deaths, and every year we continue to make progress there.
If Africa seeks prosperity, it must provide for the health and nutrition of all -- including the poorest.
When I was in college, for the games of that era, I was as hard core as anyone was. I wouldn't say I outgrew it, but you always have to have a finite number of addictions.
The willingness to hear hard truth is vital not only for CEOs of big corporations but also for anyone who loves the truth. Sometimes the truth sounds like bad news, but it is just what we need.
Having kids has been a fantastic thing for me. It's meant that I'm a little more balanced. In my twenties I worked massively, hardly took vacation at all. Now, I, with the help of my wife, I'm always making sure I've got a good balance of how I spend my time.
The US really has to get out in front. We are the biggest per person, by a substantial amount, greenhouse emitters, and we give the most foreign aid, not per person but in absolute.
If you withdraw the incredible focus on polio, it will spread back, and in poor countries you'll get something like 100,000 cases a year. So by being very intense and getting the cases down to zero, what you do is you avoid all the future cases.
The finest pieces of software are those where one individual has a complete sense of exactly how the program works. To have that, you have to really love the program and concentrate on keeping it simple, to an incredible degree.
Sometimes, I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you don't act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention and that is the beginning of the end.
When I say an energy miracle, I mean that there will be some form of energy whose 24 hour cost really is competitive with hydrocarbons given, say, 20 years of learning curve. You invent it, then you look at how much its costs go down over the next 20 years, that it really beats hydrocarbons.
A company's ability to respond to an unplanned event, good or bad is a prime indicator of its ability to compete.
The information society should serve all of its citizens, not only the technically sophisticated and economically privileged.
For all these infectious diseases, the goal is to eventually get rid of them. And to do that we need to invent new tools, but nobody was doing that because there was no money to buy on behalf of the poorest, even the existing tools.
I don't think you're as capable of handling lack of sleep or whatever challenges you throw at your body as you get older. However, I never missed a day of work.
When you have the medical advances you think will they be available to everyone. Will they not just be for the rich world or even just the rich people and the rich world? Will they be for the world at large?
50 years from now we won't need as much human labour to do what manual workers do, so we should be able to take that extra productivity and put it to better use.
When making choices, or setting policies about the economy, education or medicine, society is best served by electing people who are particularly hardworking, intelligent and interested in long-term thinking.
You have to have a certain realism that government is a pretty blunt instrument and without the constant attention of highly qualified people with the right metrics, it will fall into not doing things very well.
Training the workforce of tomorrow with today's high schools is like trying to teach kids about today's computers on a 50-year-old mainframe.
It's not easy to remember, but IBM was the computer industry when I was growing up. You loved 'em. You hated 'em. You knew what they were doing. They had set a standard for mainframes. They also set a standard for great sales focus and heavy product R and D.
That's the part where the governments have a unique role, and then when it progresses well enough, then existing companies or new startup companies should take it. In the $3 trillion a year energy market, the rewards will be quite fantastic.
We Corbis make it so easy to call up images, whether art or people or beaches or sunsets or Nobel Prize winners.
There's always a tricky issue when you get into stolen material or pornography. The laws for online publishing the same as for print-based publishing, where if you're hosting certain types of things and somebody notifies you about that.
But the improvements will happen faster and last longer if we can channel market forces, including innovation that's tailored to the needs of the poorest, to complement what governments and nonprofits do. We need a system that draws in innovators and businesses in a far better way than we do today.
When I walk into a grocery store and look at all the products you can choose, I say, My God! No king ever had anything like I have in my grocery store today.
Does the universe exist only for me? It's possible. If so, it's sure going well for me, I must admit.
Other paths would include making nuclear fission cheap enough and safe enough that people broadly embrace it, so that could be scaled up.
The most important work I got a chance to be involved in, no matter what I do, is the personal computer... I even knew not to get married until later because I was so obsessed with it. That's my life's work.
I feel certain that the personal computer is as revolutionary in terms of the way it will change the way we work, learn, and entertain ourselves as any of these previous advances.
All lives have equal value. And so you say, 'why do poor children die when other children don't? Why do some people have enough nutrition or reasonable toilets and other people don't?' So those basic needs that, through innovation, actually it's very affordable to bring them...to everyone.
I think (the internet) is contributing to Chinese political engagement..access to the outside world is preventing more censorship.
We have over 60 million machines that can take the same diskette, plug it in and immediately ah, that that software's working. And so it's created the worldwide software industry that... that is so very competitive and moving so quickly.
As we have taken diarrhea and pneumonia down, even malaria down quite a bit, the portion of the days that are very early in that 5 years -- the first month, the first day -- it's about half now. Yet that's the part we understand the least.
Instead of buying airplanes and playing around like some of our competitors, we've rolled almost everything back to the company.
Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put three man-years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product, and distributing it for free?
Some people read off of their Palms and Pocket PCs, but the real immersible reading experience takes a full-screen device.
How we deal with the AIDS epidemic should be one of the greatest ways that the world gets measured. The report card for this era.
There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.
The government's ability to select scientists and pick things that are fairly strange, because politicians don't like failures. They're only in office a short term, and many of these things take a long time.
The current information revolution is a cultural revolution, a social revolution, a thoroughgoing technological revolution that involves not just information, but labor, leisure, entertainment, communication, education, culture and thus is part of a major cultural and social shift.
Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
What we're really after is simply that people acquire a legal license for Windows for each computer they own before they move on to Linux or Sun Solaris or BSD or OS 2 or whatever.
I really do think cancer will largely be a solved problem. I think most of the infectious diseases like malaria -- our foundation is very involved -- once we're finishing polio eradication, then starting up this malaria eradication, and getting that done as fast as we can.
I do think this next century, hopefully, will be about a more global view. Where you don't just think, 'Yes, my country is doing well,' but you think about the world at large.
At the end of the day, natural-gas peakers sit back there and get financed so that the Midwest corridor can have a huge period of four to five days of no wind. The peakers are running big time to make that up, because that is the swing piece that can always be turned on.
Eventually you won't think of 'the Internet business.' You'll think of it more like news, weather, sports, but even that taxonomy isn't clear.
We need to start thinking about the future of food if we are going to feed 9 billion people in a way that does not destroy our environment.
You have the refugee crisis triggered by Syria. That's got a lot of costs associated with it. Domestically, budgets are incredibly tight because the economy's not generating the growth that makes for easy trade-offs.
I studied every thing but never topped.... But today the toppers of the best universities are my employees.
You have to be willing to see that sometimes the governments of these poor countries don't come through. You have to think about that as a constraint. How do you help them be better? How do you come up with things that actually work, even in those tough situations.
There's a unique thing about the UK, where you give a very generous foreign aid budget to support globally, which is spent wisely. We partner with the government here to make sure that that money is spent well.
People care a lot that the USA is well run, and people globally expect us to do things in upgrading science and more.
The government is somewhat inept, but the private sector is inept in general. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them. However, every once in a while a Google or a Microsoft comes out, so people keep giving them money.
There are ecosystems like coral reefs at risk through ocean acidification. Those are valuable things that we should protect.
Warren Buffett met with all sorts of different groups about a lot of different things, but yes, he took the time, he listened and he wanted to understand about some of the different diseases and the strength of the American role in doing all these things.
In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.