“Now is the time for people who care, who want to invent, who have skills in specific scientific and information technology areas to get out there and add to the productivity of the economy”, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft speaks to a packed auditorium at Stanford and shares his optimism for emerging innovation in the midst of economic turmoil, and the story of his own entrepreneurial path.
He also speaks of his company’s continued investment in Internet-ready hardware and software that seeks progress in healthcare, education, and science.
Steve Ballmer’s Tips to Entrepreneurs
1 ) The time is now
In spite of the gloomy economy, its a great time to innovate and invent if you have a specific skill set in information technology.
2 ) Look around you
Look around you at the people you know, find good people, those are the people to trust when you start something.
3 ) Be patient and work hard
Some things that wind up being really important take more than ten years to become really popular. Ballmer points to Windows, SQL Databases (Oracle), Google. While he admits there are a “few exceptions,” for the most part it’s about hard work
4 ) Don’t let others dissuade you
“My parents thought I’d lost my mind to drop out of Stanford Business School to go to a company that makes software,” Ballmer said. “My dad said ‘what the heck is software’ and my mother said ‘why the heck would a person need a computer?'”
We’ve embedded the video of the lecture below it’s well worth watching, particularly given Ballmer’s 29 years of first-hand experience with one of the world’s most innovative technology companies. It runs about 58 minutes, the first 25 consist of his talk, the rest is made up of Q&A and it is well worth your time if you’re considering inventing something new and want to listen to one of the greatest marketers of the digital era.