Gates Paraphrased Advice

This is paraphrased from Bill Gates’ Twitter feed. Here we go:

New college grads often ask me for career advice …

  • AI, energy, and biosciences are promising fields where you can make a huge impact. It’s what I would do if starting out today.
  • Looking back on when I left college, there are some things I wish I had known. Intelligence takes many different forms. It is not one-dimensional. And not as important as I used to think. I also have one big regret: When I left school, I knew little about the world’s worst inequitities. Took me decades to learn.
  • You know more than I did when I was your age. You can start fighting inequity, whether down the street or around the world, sooner.
  • Meanwhile, surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self. As Melinda Gates does for me.
  • Like Warren Buffet, I measure my happiness by whether people close to me are happy and love me, and by the difference I make for others.
  • Try this book. Shows how the world is getting better. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. This is the most peaceful time in human history.
  • That matters because if you think the world is getting better, you want to spread the progress to more people and places.
  • It doesn’t mean you ignore the serious problems we face. It just means you believe they can be solved.
  • This is the core of my worldview it sustains me in tough times and is the reason I love my work. I think it can do the same for you.

And, probably, the most important … This is an amazing time to be alive. I hope you make the most of it.

Mother’s Day

There are so many great Mother’s Day quotes out in the wild:

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.” Stevie Wonder

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” Jewish Proverb

“Men are what their mothers made them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

“My mother was a reader, and she read to us. She read us Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when I was six and my brother was eight; I never forgot it.” Stephen King

“My mom is my hero. [She] inspired me to dream when I was a kid, so anytime anyone inspires you to dream, that’s gotta be your hero.” Tim McGraw

Stumbling Upon the Solution

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After hackers used NSA tools to create a ransomware virus targeting Windows XP, a 22-year-old stumbled upon a stop gap by simply registering a domain. Thus, the kill switch was triggered. It reminded me of Matthew Broderick coaching the super computer to play tic-tac-toe in the movie War Games. Ivory Soap came to mind too, but the website Snopes had to ruin the illusion for me. I had always thought an accident created the famous brand. Alas, that wasn’t true.

This is an amazing story and speaks to the power of the internet. Microsoft, a large government entity, or a trove of security companies didn’t stumble upon the fix. MaltwareTech (Twitter handle), a self-taught expert, did. Yes, the open flow of ideas is important. Tech talent is everywhere.

And don’t forget … Upgrade. Upgrade. Upgrade. Windows XP launched in 2001 and was supported for fifteen plus years. Yes, it’s challenging for certain industries to make the change, specifically healthcare, but I think it’s time to take a hard look at certain applications. There are opportunities in hard choices.

Pondering Options

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Euro Disney. Considered by financial analysts to be one of Disney’s biggest losers, it continues to mount loses. The entity is burdened with two plus billion in debt, fifteen times its gross average earnings, and carries higher labor costs compared to its sister parks. Economic theory would say losses to date are sunk. You’re never going to get that money back. So, cut your losses. Send Mickey back to America.

Yet, Disney continues to pour money into the project. Why?

Well, once you close the park the magic is gone forever. Tinker Bell won’t fly anymore. Captain Jack Sparrow can’t save the day. You’d never be able to walk through the gates and take the march down Main Street U.S.A either. Disney poured another billion plus into the park. It wanted the option to keep it open. Long term, perhaps, that is a small price to pay.

Marginal Gains

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If you can break down a problem into the incremental, great gains can be made.

“Marginal Gains. The approach comes from the idea that if you breakdown a big goal into small parts, and then improve on each of them, you will deliver a huge increase when you put them all together.” 

Sir Dave Brailsford

Despite recent allegations against the coaching legend, his thoughts provide great insights into success. Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, nothing can be taken from the approach. It can be applied to work, losing weight, painting the next great work, writing the great American novel, or any sport.

Still, cycling has its challenges. Love the sport. Enjoy the ride. Be skeptical of your heroes.

Did You Know?

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I recently sat through a presentation from the good folks at Google. The presenters were going through a few macro internet trends from 2016. For the first time, mobile overtook desktop in searches/traffic. This was only a matter of time. More impressive, almost 108 million new users from India logged on to the internet for the first time. Considering that’s almost a third of the US population, that’s eye opening.

It made me remember the Did You Know video from 2008. I used to give presentations to high school students on a number of topics. The importance of hard work/showing up. I’d script and think about the message. To prove a point, I’d do magic tricks, recall important moment’s in history, or just tell stories from my own childhood. But this video always grasped a class’ attention. Talent comes from all places. Diverse opinions matter. And we’re all so connected it becomes easier to find or rise to the top.

As a bonus, the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack is worth a listen (it’s in the background), not too bad a movie either.

The Dark Tower

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The trailer has landed. It’s been a long time coming. This movie has had many starts and stops, but I’m glad it’s so close. The Tower is now within reach.

Give King props. He is perhaps the most under-appreciated yet outstanding (and best-selling) author of a generation. Known for works of horror, for me, his best work is in other genres. Joyland. The Shawshank Redemption. And, of course, The Dark Tower. The first four books of the series soar. Inspired by the poem, Childe Roland to The Dark Tower Came, this opus is Tolkien meets the Man With No Name western series. When these books dropped, I remember putting Book Three down and thinking, “How can you do this to me, Steve?” It was worse than Dallas and the Who Shot J.R. finish? Why? I had to wait six-plus years for Wizard and Glass. All is forgiven. I mean, keeping track of the characters and worlds would be a challenge. How did someone write this? Hard to imagine at times.

Based on the trailer, I figure this telling will be different. Roland took the horn through the door this time. It’s such a great setup, giving me hope that this time the ending will be different.