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Thu 03 Apr 2003
On Being an Entrepreneur
Category : Commentary/gatesjobs.txt
I've found the quotes I was looking for in the Jager and Ortiz book.
... If "entrepreneur" means people who love businesses, this group fits. But if it means people who said, "I'm going to be excited every day because I'm going to be like one of these big businesses," it just doesn't work. You've got to enjoy what you do each day for itself and for its excellence.
... I've always rejected the term "entrepreneur" because it implies that you're an entrepreneur first and a software creator second. I didn't say, "Oh, I'll start a company. What will it be? Cookies? Bread? Software?" No. I'm a software engineer and I decided to gather a team together. The team grew over time, built more and more software products, and did whatever was needed to drive that forward.
... Articles love to play on toughness or competitiveness, or slogans, or things like that. Software is about millions of details. You've got to have people that love dealing with those kinds of details and then taking feedback. Tha's what makes it a fun business.
... A lot of people ask me, "I want to start a company. What should I do?" My first question is always, "What is your passion? What is it you want to do in your company?" Most of them say, "I don't know." My advice is go get a job as a busboy until you figure it out. You've got to be passionate about something. You shouldn't start a company because you want to start a company. Almost every company I know of got started because nobody else believed in the idea and that last resort was to start the company. That's how Apple got started. That's how Pixar got started. It's how Intel got started. You need to have passion about your idea and you need to feel so strongly about it you're willing to risk a lot.