Bill Gates, 16. November 2004 at IT-Forum in Copenhagen
Innovation of one's own is key; there is a great lesson to be learned from a short Bill Gates quote that urges business people to not compare themselves to others.
The quote from Mr. Gates is this: "Don't COMPARE yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are . . . INSULTING yourself!"
I love this for a number of reasons that I think are applicable in today's business world.
Firstly, trying to emulate competitors and colleagues for mimicking sake is generally poor practice. That is not to say that studying the successful endeavors of industry leaders and then trying to cut out what you think is their weak points while improving upon many of the high points that you like is also a bad practice, because it is a great way to help improve yourself and your business model.
The gist of what Gates hints at is that you really need to look to yourself, as you are valuable and unique for your own reasons, and you can make your own mark.
Gates spent most of his life being tied to and compared ruthlessly with the ups and downs of Steve Jobs in the computer world, i.e. Apple Vs. Microsoft, business-wise and product-wise. Ultimately Gates seems to not care all that much about any comparison to himself, because he considers his own work too valuable, and with his success you cannot deny he is on to something there.
If you make the sky the limit, because that is what everyone else does, then you've just limited and insulted yourself. Make your own way without limits.
By R.J. Huneke
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