While Gates admits that he “wasn’t very good socially” in his early days at the helm of Microsoft (he stepped down as CEO in 2000), he says he probably just needed to mature.
“Maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up,” Gates said in an earlier Reddit session in 2017.
But as Gates notes in his most recent Reddit AMA, one thing he got right as a young man was his “desire to learn.” Gates has often touted the importance of curiosity in making him successful.
Curiosity is “an amazing thing,” Gates said in a 2017 interview, “where you try to predict what is going to happen, and then, when it doesn’t, you think: Well, that drug didn’t get invented, that stock didn’t go up, that approach wasn’t popular. What is it about my model of the world that’s wrong? Who could I talk to? What could I read?”
In fact, both Gates and good friend and fellow billionaire (and introvert) Warren Buffett agree that curiosity is their most important shared quality.
“We find the world just such an interesting place, so we like to compare notes,” Buffett said of himself and Gates.
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