Not all giant organisations own up to their mistakes but Microsoft Founder Bill Gates is an exception. At an event hosted by Village Global, Gates talked about the experiences of founding a company and making hard decisions at every turn and revealed he regrets losing the smartphone market to Google’s Android the most.
Talking to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, Bill Gates said that his biggest mistake was letting Microsoft lose to Android in the smartphone market. Gates said “You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform”.
TechCrunch reports that Gates further said if there was a chance for an operating system to thrive alongside Apple’s iOS, it should’ve been Microsoft and notes that it “was a natural thing for Microsoft to win”.
The Microsoft Founder also evaluated Google’s Android at around $400 billion, which his company could’ve easily earned if Microsoft had stressed more on its Windows Mobile OS rather than putting all of its resources on its desktop services.
Gates notes while Microsoft is doing well at the moment and is ‘a’ leading company in technology, it would have been ‘THE’ company if it had got that one thing right. He says “It’s amazing to me, having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time, Microsoft is still very strong”.
Lastly, Gates explains “So this idea that just small differences can magnify themselves doesn’t exist for a lot of businesses. You know, if you’re a service business, it doesn’t exist. But for software platforms, it’s absolutely gigantic. And so that’s partly where you have the mentality of every night you think, ‘Am I screwing this up?’ And eventually, we did screw up a super important one”.