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Steve Ballmer Quotes

Steven Anthony Ballmer

Steve Ballmer quotes: ex Microsoft CEO turned Clippers owner talks about business, technology, guilty pleasures, more.

“You get some success.  You run into some walls… it’s how tenacious you are, how irrepressible, how ultimately optimistic and tenacious you are about it that will determine your success.”

“A bold bet doesn’t assure you of winning, but if you make no bold bets you can’t continue to succeed.”

“Find something to do that you’re passionate about.  If you’re not passionate, I can’t imagine how anybody can get there.  There are two kinds of people – there are people who live to work and there are people who work to live.  And I respect both of those things.  But if you’re trying to have a career, you’re going to have a little bit more live-to-work in you than work-to-live.  So… passion.”

“There are people who are willing to work a little harder, willing to be a little smarter, and still don’t have success.  And some people do and there’s a luck element that distinguishes those.  I’d probably highlight those things: hard work, good ideas, and put yourself in a position to get lucky, if you will.  I think that that’s very important.”

“Any idea that turns out to be truly great can be harvested for tens of years.  On the other hand, if you want to continue to be great, you’ve got to bet on new things – big, bold bets.”

“You have to execute to earn your mission to be creative.”

“Great companies, with the way they work, first start with great leaders.”

“All companies of any size have to continue to push to make sure you get the right leaders, the right team, the right people to be fast-acting, and fast-moving in the marketplace.”

“This is all about having great leaders who can drive agile innovation and agile decision-making.”

“It’s always great when you get a lot of people pushing themselves to do better, be better, invent better, better serve, better lead customers in new directions.”

“I think the biggest mistake most people make when they pick their first job is they don’t worry enough about whether they’ll love the work, and they worry more about whether it’s a good experience.”

“There’s nothing that flows through a pipe or down a wire or anything else.  We have to continuously create new innovation that lets people do something they didn’t think they could do the day before.”

“The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do.  It lets people be creative.  It lets people be productive.  It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.”

“So, I think the output of our innovation is great.  We have a culture of self-improvement.  I know we can continue to improve.  There is no issue.  But at the same time, our absolute level of output is fantastic.”

“In a sense, technology is a tool of, sort of, individual choice, individual creativity, individual empowerment, individual access.”

“The way I do things, I usually always prefer to have a very clear strategy and be very focused.  At the same time to be very rock solid, and crisp in execution.”

“I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases.  There’s vision, patience, and execution.”

“Getting the big things right that make all the money, that’s long cycle; really executing in a way that allows you to do it, that’s short cycle.”

“Accessible design is good design – it benefits people who don’t have disabilities as well as people who do.  Accessibility is all about removing barriers and providing the benefits of technology for everyone.”

“I think good ideas are usually better done quickly than slowly.”

“Ultimately, progress is measured sort of through the eyes of users.”

“The small business market is the biggest part of the computer market.”

“One capability every business is expected to have is the capability to make money.  It requires a certain kind of discipline, a certain kind of mindset.”

“It never matters where we are.  We know we have to push, push, push, push, push to be better.”

“Everyone likes to differentiate between business and consumers but I don’t see the difference really.  Most people are people.  I get personal and business mail and I have one set of contacts from my life.  I don’t want to manage two sets.  I want one view of my world.”

“I have a hard time with businesses that don’t make money at some point.”

“As a businessman, if you ask me what I’m proud of, I’m proud of the fact that I made $250 billion under my watch as CEO.”

“Our people, our shareholders, me, Bill Gates, we expect to change the world in every way, to succeed wildly at everything we touch, to have the broadest impact of any company in the world.”

“I loved every minute of my time at Microsoft, but I had always envisioned having another phase of life just because I thought that would be interesting.  It had never been my plan to work until I literally didn’t want to do anything and then hang it up.”

“What I found is I control my time, I can pick and choose what I do.”

“Work some, hit some golf balls late in the afternoon.  It’s cool to be able to control my time and still be involved in fun and productive activities.”

“I’ve found three or four things that are quite interesting to me that I’m focused on.  That’s been fun.  The Clippers is obviously one of them.”

“A plane is a guilty pleasure.  I have one.  It’s a great luxury.  I appreciate it.  I couldn’t do what I do.  It’s not something you can write down as anything other than, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I have this and I’m absolutely spoiled and entitled.’  On the other hand, I have one and I use it.”

“I’m a member of more golf courses than Connie Ballmer would like me to be a member.  Two in Seattle, two in Hawaii, one in L.A., one in Nebraska, one in Detroit.  I play and I have fun.  It’s my guilty pleasure.”

“I didn’t leave business school to go bankrupt.”

“All in, baby.  We are winning, winning, winning, winning, winning.”

Related: Paul Allen quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.