Microsoft Co-Founder and the World’s second richest man – Bill Gates has revealed that one of his biggest mistakes of all time was allowing Google to develop Android, “the standard non-Apple phone form platform”.
Today, Android and iOS are the two most widely used mobile operating systems. iOS is restricted to iPhones, but Android is used virtually across almost every smartphone and is most commonly found. However, a couple of years back, Microsoft also had its own mobile OS running on the Windows phones. The market never took off and the Redmond, Washington based tech giant announced the end of support for Windows 10 Mobile in 2017.
This is Bill Gates’ biggest mistake, and probably even the regret he holds.
“You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, 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,” Bill Gates said in a statement to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz at an event hosted for the founders of by the venture capital firm Village Global.
In his conversation with Hartz, Gates also talked about his outlook on maintaining a work-life balance. The billionaire philanthropist doesn’t believe in the concept of work-life balance or taking vacations. “For my particular makeup – and it really is true that I didn’t believe in weekends; I didn’t believe in vacations,” he said.
“I have a fairly hardcore view that there should be a very large sacrifice made during those, those early years, particularly if you’re trying to do some engineering things that you have to get the feasibility,” he added.
Bill Gates also said in his conversation with Hartz that during the initial years of a company it is essential to have a team that is “pretty maniacal about the company”.
“But yes, it is nice if during those first several years, you have a team that has chosen to be pretty maniacal about the company, and how far that goes, you should have a mutual understanding, so you’re not one person expecting one thing, and another person expecting another thing,” he added.
Therefore, seems like even though some things may not go the way you envisioned them, a relentless pursuit will yield great results.