Bill Gates shares his one regret with new college graduates

Microsoft co-founder issues career and life advice for people finishing university

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'.

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.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí is an Irish Times journalist and editor of the Irish Times Student Hub