The billionaire has alluded to the importance of learning from failure on different occasions and reportedly once said: "It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
Gates took an unorthodox path to becoming a sensation in the software world. Like Jobs, he dropped out of college before launching the company that would ultimately lead to his success. But prior to his enrollment at Harvard, the businessman co-founded his first company at age 17, called Traf-O-Data.
Traf-O-Data was a computerized machine company that used a chip to process and analyze traffic data. Although the company was a failure, according to co-founder Paul Allen, the two used what they learned from that experience to create Microsoft.
Microsoft is now valued at $507.5 billion and with a net worth of $89.9 billion, Gates is the richest person on the planet, according to Forbes.
But even at Microsoft, Gates had to repeatedly deal with failure. In 1993, a database project that he thought would be revolutionary didn't work and in the mid-90s, Microsoft's TV-style internet shows on MSN were a flop, he writes in his book "Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy."
The billionaire says that the weight of all of his failures could have made him depressed. Instead, he accepted these challenges and learned from them.
"Once you embrace unpleasant news not as a negative but as evidence of a need for change, you aren't defeated by it," Gates says in the book. "You're learning from it. It's all in how you approach failures."
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