爱思英语编者按:成功是很多人一生之追求,什么样的人能够成功?需要具备哪些素质?本文中 Bill Murph JR.揭秘了比尔·盖茨 “财富之后的财富”——成功的秘诀。

15年前,比尔·盖茨辞去微软公司CEO 一职,但是继续担任董事会主席和首席软件工程师,他的人生从此发生了重大转变。这里有 7 把通向成功之门的钥匙,都是从盖茨的生活经历和一次次努力尝试中总结出来的。

It was 15 years ago today that Bill Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft.While he stayed involved as chairman and chief software architect, it was the start of his major life transition. Here are seven keys to his success--taken from the history of his life and applied to one endeavor after another.



比尔·盖茨就是如此。1969年,他上八年级——当时几乎很少有学校拥有计算机系统,他在读的的学校购入了一台早期处理速度极慢的计算机终端,虽然这台计算机做信息处理所需的时间与现在相比算是龟速,可在那时拥有这样的计算机的学校很少。比尔·盖茨就获准可以不上数学课而去学习编程,并且很快疯狂迷恋起来。他编写的第一个计算机应用程序是 tic-tac-toe(井字游戏)。

1. Get in early--and learn.

I don't know if there are shortcuts in life, but there are certainly head starts.

Gates had a big one. In 1969, when he was in eighth grade--when very few schools had any kind of computer system--his school bought an early machine along with blocks of processing time. Gates was excused from regular math classes to learn to program, and became enthralled with it. His first computer program: a tic-tac-toe program.





2. Seek forgiveness, not permission.

Too many people fail to succeed because they hold themselves back. Whether it was youthful folly or instinct, Gates didn't fall into this category.

As an early example--that computer in eighth grade? When the school's funds eventually ran out, Gates (with his friend Paul Allen and other students) exploited bugs to obtain free computer time. When they were caught, he and the others traded their bug-finding ability for more free computer time.


许多人还有另外一个严重的问题——不敢开口要钱。但是,盖茨从未被这个问题困扰过。14 岁时,他给当地的一家公司编写薪资计算程序;到 17 岁时,他和艾伦创立了公司,运用早期的计算机程序计算道路交通的数据。

70年代期间,当时业务呈 “幂增长” 状态,可以对报酬淡然处之,他也同样竭力要求获得报酬 。21 岁时,他发现计算机业余爱好者使用了他的软件的盗版,他就写了一封 “致计算机爱好者的公开信”,让他们 “还钱”,这样他就可以 “雇 10 个程序员来为爱好者提供大量优质软件”。

3. Value your work.

Another big problem many people have--they are afraid to ask for money. Here again, Gates never had that problem. At age 14, he was writing code for a local company's payroll program; by age 17, he and Allen launched a company that used an early computer program to help count road traffic.

Gates also pushed to get paid during the 1970s, when business was seen as "square" to put it lightly. After he realized that computer amateurs were using pirated versions of his software, at 21, he wrote an "Open Letter to Hobbyists" telling them to "pay up" so he could "hire 10 programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software."

四、 学习不止于学校



4. Learning matters more than school.

Gates was a good student--he scored almost perfectly on the SAT--and he was from a family that valued education. He enrolled at Harvard at 17, but didn't declare a major and instead spent his time using Harvard's computers.

By his second year, however, Gates dropped out of Harvard to start a company with his high school friend, Allen--and begin his real education.

五、 在其位,谋其政

观念的转变是很有趣的。在管理微软期间,盖茨被认为是一个难搞、又极度好胜的老板。跟同时期的史蒂夫·乔布斯很像,会议中若员工与他意见不合,他的反应可谓是异常严苛。有人称盖茨的批评性言论 “振聋发聩”。

但与此同时,他做事尽职尽责。公司成立后的5年中,他会事无巨细地监管公司所有的业务事项,他还逐行逐行地检查(经常重写)产品代码。如果你曾用过 MD-DOS 系统或 Windows 系统最原始的版本,那么恭喜你曾用过比尔·盖茨参与编写的代码。

5. When you're in charge, take charge.

It's funny how perceptions change, but when he was running Microsoft, Gates had a reputation as a difficult, extremely competitive boss. Much like his contemporary Steve Jobs, descriptions of his reaction to employees he disagreed with in meetings were harsh. One described Gates's criticism as "devastating."

At the same time though, he took responsibility. During the first five years, when he was overseeing all of the business aspects of the company, he also oversaw (and often rewrote) every line of code in the company's products. If you're old enough to have used MS-DOS or the original version of Windows, you've used a product Gates helped code.

六、 做个高瞻远瞩的人

很显然,说起来容易做起来难,但是盖茨在几个关键时刻都展现了自己的远见。举个例子,这是一个经典的故事,早在 1980年,盖茨以 50000 美元低价授权 IBM 使用 DOS 操作系统,但他很有先见之明,并未将其版权转让。如此一来,微软可以将操作系统授权给其他复制 IBM 计算机的供应商,因此他的公司获得了更有利、更广阔的市场。

更让人毛骨悚然的是: 盖茨近日表示,他担心超级智能机器会对人类构成威胁。希望他这次的预测不会成真。

6. Be the guy who predicts the future.

Obviously easier said than done, but Gates saw the future first at several key moments. One of them--and this is a classic story--came in 1980, when he negotiated a deal to license the DOS operating system to IBM for a low $50,000, but had the foresight not transfer the copyright. As a result, Microsoft was able to license the OS to other vendors who cloned IBM's machine, thus making a much bigger and more profitable market for his company.

More chillingly: Gates has said recently he's concerned about the threats of super-intelligent machines on humanity. Let's hope he's not seeing this prediction as clearly.



就盖茨而言,退出微软后的十年间,他全身心投入到慈善事业中。以约翰·洛克菲勒和安德鲁·卡耐基为榜样(并且遵循沃伦·巴菲特的教导),比尔·盖茨和妻子梅琳达·盖茨都在美国最慷慨的慈善家之列,他们关注那些世界各国政府都没有能力解决的 “大问题”。

7. Take on a big enough mission.

In some ways this should be the first item on the list, as truly successful people first choose endeavors worthy of their time.

In Gates's case, fast-forward to the 2000s, after he transitioned out of Microsoft and became a full-time philanthropist. Using the examples of John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie (and the mentorship of Warren Buffett), Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, are among America's most generous philanthropists, focusing on "big problems" that they believe governments around the world are incapable of solving.