You would think that Bill Gates wouldn't want to change too much about his life. The Microsoft co-founder is already a titan of the tech industry and the world's second-richest person, with an estimated net worth of roughly $100 billion, according to Forbes.
But the 63-year-old billionaire would still tell his younger self a thing or two if he could go back in time.
"I would try and make myself more self-aware without getting rid of the focus and desire to learn," the billionaire said while reflecting on his younger days during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit in February.
Gates has said before that he was an introvert.
"I was overly intense and socially inept," Gates said in the AMA.
In fact, his intensity earned him a reputation as a difficult boss to work with at Microsoft, the company he co-founded at the age of 20 in 1975. As a young CEO, Gates was reportedly demanding and sarcastic, even spying on employees to see who was working overtime on weekends, according to GQ.
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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