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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Bill Gates

Co-Founder and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

Bill Gates: These C Cubed people have this computer, which is a time-sharing computer, and they're letting us come in at night. And they had this deal with the company who made the computer, Digital Equipment Corporation, that they had this acceptance period. If they could find problems with it, they could delay their rental payments. So they thought of us as kind of monkeys that might find some problems and help them delay their rental payments. Well, that was a fair analysis, because at first we were just completely goofing around. Like, we'd try to run hundreds of jobs at the same time, or have all the jobs try and grab the same resources, to see if we could get the system to fail. And we did, in kind of this brute force approach. So they would report that as a problem and delay their rental payment. Well, a few months went by, actually about four months by the end of it. We had gotten very sophisticated. In fact, we'd gotten the source code of the operating system out of the garbage can, and were reading it, and the kind of problems we were finding were far more subtle. In fact, we would not only find the problem, we'd look and we'd suggest how they might fix it. Anyway, Digital Equipment got so tired of this they said, "Look, you've got to pay. You're going to be able to find these kinds of problems forever, but we need to get paid." So then there was a question whether they would let us stay there or not, and it was pretty tenuous. So Paul and I, we understood the system well enough that we could look at all the passwords of the various accounts, so we would use literally any account. And then, people -- when they found out we had done that, they got kind of mad about that. They weren't sure how mad they should be about it, because we hadn't really caused any damage, but it wasn't a good thing. Computer hacking was literally just being invented at the time, and so fortunately we got off with a bit of a warning. But there actually was a period that, because of that, they said we weren't supposed to use the computer. It was over a summer, and Paul actually went up to the University of Washington and found ways to use the computer and get connected up. He took a while before he told me and then eventually he told me about that and we got back on.
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Bill Gates

Co-Founder and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

Bill Gates: Microsoft was only a few people and we'd written this BASIC, and the idea was to license it to lots of companies and then to write other software. So the head of MITS said he could help us market it to other people and take a sales commission for that, and I wrote the contract so that if they weren't serious about promoting it and putting a lot of investment into that, they would lose that right. That was the "best efforts" clause, a very strong requirement. They never got serious about that, and yet they kind of liked the idea of them having the BASIC and other people not. So we were discussing that, how we were going to resolve this problem, because we needed to license it to other people, and we were doing all the work to license it to other people even though they were getting this commission. And right at that time, another company, Pertec, bought MITS, and then those people got confused about the contract and so they weren't even paying us the money they owed us. They were essentially trying to starve us, so we terminated the contract. It had an arbitration clause. The arbitrator found that we were right. Five out of five reasons to terminate the contract, we were only right about five of them! So that contract was terminated. And then we had to -- like, we ended up having to do -- built our sales and marketing activities. And by then we started to have some other programs as well. So we started to hire more people and things really got going. The big thing though, was that because Pertec moved that company out to California, we no longer had a reason to be in Albuquerque, because you couldn't recruit people there as easily as you could to other locations. So we talked about where to move, and eventually, in 1979, we move up to Seattle.
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John Gearhart

Stem Cell Research

I know I didn't want to go back to Western Pennsylvania, a very depressed area. I mean, it was a -- but I really didn't -- and I sort of went along on this -- what I was saying is that the people in this group that I went with, there was 25 or 30 of them; they all went to college, so the thing to do was to go to college. And, I remember the counselor at the time saying, you know, essentially "You are not going to amount to anything." I mean, it was very -- a very hard kind of an institution. You know, "Why waste your money on college."
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Frank Gehry

Award-Winning Architect

Frank Gehry: At first I didn't do great. In fact, I flunked the first class in perspective drawing, and it really got me angry. So I went back the next semester and took it and got an A, and then I had an architecture drafting class, which the teacher and I got along real well. He was an architect. At the same time, I was taking classes at USC, summer classes in ceramics and art, drawing, art design, and the ceramics teacher -- Glen Lukens at the time -- was having a house designed by Raphael Soriano, and Glen somehow looked at me and said, "I just have another hunch." He said, "I would like you to meet Soriano," and I did, and I watched how Soriano -- a guy with a black suit and a black tie and a beret, you know -- I mean, he was a really funny guy. But there was something about it that excited me, maybe the drama of it, maybe the theater of it, and he knew what he was doing. He was very Miesian. He did very stark things, and that all excited me. Based on Glen's recommendation, I took a class at night in architectural design, and I did really well. I was skipped into second year.
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Frank Gehry

Award-Winning Architect

I couldn't afford it, but I made enough scholarships for architect school. Somehow I worked and got through. Then once I got in it, I was off to the races, except the first half of the second year, my teacher came in and called me in and said, "This isn't for you. You're not going to make it," and somehow I worked through that. And that guy works at the airport. I see him every once in a while, the teacher. I mean, he acknowledges his mistake, of course, but it's -- I mean, I just sort of kept going. It was dogged persistence once I got into it.
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