Fun Friday

A couple of weeks ago I got an email forwarded to me and it was a list of rules that Bill Gates gave in a speech at a High School. When he gave the speech, he said they were not things that would be learned in school, and he talked about how “feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real word.” I read through the rules (view here) and they were extremely interesting and gave me the idea to try and find other bits of advice that people in the tech industry have given.

In the process of finding more advice, I learned that these “rules” weren’t actually written by Bill Gates, rather they were written by a man named Charles Sykes in a book called “Dumbing Down America.” This was one of those situations where whoever started the email didn’t exactly get their facts straight, but they were still interesting bits of advice nonetheless. Keeping with the theme, I figured I’d seek out some of the best actually given by Bill Gates, and add to it with advice from Steve Jobs, and Mark Shuttleworth (known for his leadership of the Ubuntux Linux distribution). At least one of these men has played an extremely important role in the computer experience you have, and so we thought it would be worth seeing what kinds of advice they’ve given.

Bill Gates

bill gates advice.pngThe bits of advice/words of wisdom/questions to think about from Bill Gates come from a commencement address that he gave in 2007 at Harvard University.

  • Humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discovers – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.
  • The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.
  • From those to whom much is given, much is expected
  • Take on an issue – a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it
  • Don’t let complexity stop you
  • Be activists
  • Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of the world’s least privileged?
  • Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?
  • For every person in the world who has access to technology, five people don’t…

Steve Jobs

steve jobs advice.pngThe bits of advice/words of wisdom from Steve Jobs come from a commencement address that he gave in 2005 at Stanford University.

  • Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith…
  • You’ve got to find what you love.
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • Don’t settle.
  • Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
  • There is no reason not to follow your heart
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition
  • You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…

Mark Shuttleworth

mark shuttleworth advice.pngThe bits of advice from Mark Shuttleworth come from the following sources: Dist ,, Phoronix

  • A small group of passionate people is all it takes to change the world. In fact, if you look through the history of humanity, they are the only ones who have ever changed anything.
  • When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When is the second best time? Now.
  • I think we are all driven to push ourselves in one way or another – to explore some idea or activity that’s interesting
  • Before launching Ubuntu, I asked myself: where do I want to be? Do I want to be on the sidelines, reading about these changes, or do I want to jump straight into the action and help shape the future?
  • You need to look into the future and see what is really interesting and then pursue it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be successful as nothing in life means you’re going to be successful
  • Know very clearly what it is that you are excited about. Partly that means reading widely and know what is going on in the world and just being honest about what you really enjoy, and doing that because you will be a hell of a lot better at it then if you follow someone else…
  • In the technology game, you need to pick things that are inspiring, challenging, and interesting

The best advice is…

With that, we wanted to throw the question out to you and find out what the best piece of advice is that you have received?