Bill Gates on Expertise: 10,000 Hours and a Lifetime of Fanaticism

Bill Gates responds to Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. Apart from acknowledging luck, timing and an open mind, Gates suggests that a successful person survives many cycles of attrition to make it to 10,000 hours of experience. “You do have to be lucky enough, but also fanatical enough to keep going,” explains Gates.

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates leads a conversation with his father Bill Gates Senior, titled “A Conversation with My Father,” in which the pair talk about parenting, philanthropy, commerce and citizenship.

Bill Gates Sr. was an attorney who co-founded his own firm and was on the board of Planned Parenthood. Since retiring from law in 1998, he has served as the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and as director for Costco Wholesale. He’s also the author of Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime as well as Wealth and Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes.

Bill Gates III is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. In July 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.

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