Bill Gates shares his one regret with new college graduates
Microsoft co-founder issues career and life advice for people finishing university
Bill Gates. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Bill Gates, most recently named the richest man in the world for the third year in a row, has taken to Twitter to share some life advice with new college graduates.
In a series of 14 tweets, the philanthropist and co-founder of computer giant Microsoft touched on what he would do were he to start his career again.
Gates, who famously dropped out of Harvard but went on to become the world’s richest man after setting up Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, said that looking back on his life there were some things he wished he had known.
His one big regret, he said, was that he knew little of the world’s inequality when he left school. This, he added, was something that took him decades to learn.
Addressing his wife Melinda Gates and fellow multi-billionaire Warren Buffet, he said if he were to present them with a graduation present he would give them a copy of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, a book he described in the tweet as ‘the most inspiring book I’ve ever read’.
1/ New college grads often ask me for career advice. At the risk of sounding like this guy…https://t.co/C68mjJ5g44— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
2/ AI, energy, and biosciences are promising fields where you can make a huge impact. It's what I would do if starting out today.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
3/ Looking back on when I left college, there are some things I wish I had known.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
4/ E.g. Intelligence takes many different forms. It is not one-dimensional. And not as important as I used to think.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
5/ I also have one big regret: When I left school, I knew little about the world’s worst inequities. Took me decades to learn.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
6/ 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.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
7/ Meanwhile, surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self. As @MelindaGates does for me.— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 15, 2017
The 2010 publication shot to No. 1 in the Amazon list of best sellers in books within hours of when the magnate issued his recommendation on Monday.
The author, Gates says in a subsequent tweet “shows how the world is getting better.”
“Sounds crazy, but it’s true. This is the most peaceful time in human history.”
This, he says, “doesn’t mean you ignore the serious problems we face. It just means you believe they can be solved.”
Gates continues by saying that this belief is “the core” of his worldview.
“It sustains me in tough times and is the reason I love my work. I think it can do same for you.”
“This is an amazing time to be alive. I hope you make the most of it,” he concludes.