Warren Buffet and Bill Gates on Business, Success & Technology
Hello. My name's kid Martin and I'm a senior finance major here at the University my. Question is how, do you instill, ethical, leadership throughout, your organization, and to begin with how, do you know that the management one level below you, is making decisions that would parallel your own. We. Have all the money we need you, know we'd like to have more but. We can afford to lose money but. We can't afford to lose reputation, not a shredder reputation, and therefore. I ask the managers, I ask, them to judge. Every, action they take not. Just by. Legal. Standards, although obviously that's the first test but also, by, the tests, what I call the newspaper test how would they feel about any given action if they knew it was to be written up the. Next day in their, local paper, to. Be read by their family, by their friends by their neighbors written. By a smart, but kind of unfriendly reporter, and if, it passes that test it's. Okay and I tell them if anything is close to the lines it's out and they. Can always call me if they wanted to check something but if they call me there's something wrong with it probably anyway, and, that's about it in, Microsoft's, case our, top, management. Team the, majority, of them joined. Us as right. After, whatever, degree they got if any now. Our business in in many ways is kind of simple it's about writing writing, great software. We. Sit, down every year to go through the various things that people. Have to be careful about we have products that have high, market share we do business all over the world so there's some particular dictates. How you work with suppliers gifts, they might come. Forward with but it's it's, mainly the. Scene. These people in action that that make us confident, about their behavior I should, mention that that. I am the only college grad up here. Yeah. I'll, be taking my Harvard shirt off pretty soon because I didn't, complete, the whole color so I didn't think I should leave it on the hall though they don't allow you to work. Hi. I'm Terry Steinbach, I'm also a senior finance major at the University and, this. Is for mr. gates, since. You joined the board at Berkshire Hathaway. Have you considered possibly, taking over for mr. Buffett, when he retires yeah. Yeah. This this, being on the Berkshire Board is a real honor for, me, and and. I, just, joined. The board last December, I have, to say it's not very remunerate. 'iv I can't couldn't even make the flight out here on my. Berkshire. Director speed. But. But. Berkshires, been organized. In a very unique way and. Of. Course very different from. My business experience which is all really, related to software and what goes on there so I'm looking, forward to being a good adviser. Making. Sure that Berkshire is grooming people, for. Whatever succession. Eventually, has to take place but it won't be me Berkshires. Got a lot of great people and. They. They understand, the unique system there and I'll step, step. Up to it we. Pay, our board our, directors $900, a year and I, really. Would like to pay him more but bill so far ahead of me on that Forbes list already. And. Seriously. We're. Very very lucky I mean there were there are people that would pay anything to have bail, on their board and it's. A real act of friendship that. He has come on the Berkshire board it takes a lot of time if. The rewards are there they're only psychic, but it's it to have him there. You. Know was the small difference in our ages makes. Me feel very good. I'm. The older actually I've just explained. It. Makes. Me feel very good to, know that I've got people of. Both. Of the quality, and the experience. And everything else to make that decision when I'm not there the next morning so I'm very grateful.
Thank. You. Erica. Yeah. He's. Got bring. Out his high school. I'm. Brian poppy I'm a junior, actuarial, science major my. Question for you is how, did you two meet the first time is there like some sort of billionaires, conference, that I don't know about her yeah. We have these things we don't talk about him. Now, I met, Belen on July. 5th 1991. And I. Was, out in, Washington. As. A guest of a, friend. Of mine who. Was. In editorial. Page editor of the Washington Post and and, she. Knew bills. Parents, and. Said. We're going down to this place. On, the Hood Canal but to, meet the the. Senior Gates's and and and. Bill, may show up and I would they'll take it from there. Well. It, was a funny event because my. Mom. Was very sociable. And always you know getting people together and, I, at. This time didn't. Believe in vacations. You know I was totally focused on my job and. So when she said to me you've got to come out and. Meet. It was a Warren, and Katherine Graham and a couple other people I said, mom I'm busy. You. Know and. She's know this this would be great and I thought well I'm not sure you know I'm into, this software thing and I don't know much about investing. And. I. Hadn't hadn't thought about it much but I went out and so. Warren and I met and I'd. Actually come. Out in the helicopter, I was planning to go back a few hours later, but. Then by the end of the day I was there you know just talking with Warren and so, it began. A you, know really, unbelievable, friendship, for me and you. Know I could tell that even, though he came from different directions the, kinds, of things that fascinated. Us and that we thought were important, were were very much the same and so, you, know for the last 14 years we found every. Excuse possible, to get. Together whether, it's you know bridge, or golf but really. It's about talking about the world and thinking about what's. Going on in it that that's at the core of it, the morale that is listen to your mother. Mark. Smith's a senior, actual science major could, you tell us a little bit about a your. Typical. Workday and how you manage your time - a lot for like playing hail it to you and that kind of stuff. Well. I don't get to play my cello - I. Have. To say when I played with my colleagues at work I get slaughtered, so fast it's unbelievable. When. I'm on an Xbox Live Project. Gotham Racing I'm, a little better at it's nice to have a job where gaming is a. Serious. Pursuit and we get to, think. About that and. You. Know in playing around the latest technology, whether it's. You. Know new PCs looking, at new software, sitting down with researchers, it's. It's, why I think my job is the best Warren, thinks, his the best but I'm I'm sure I'm right. Anyway. I'm in meetings a lot my calendar gets very full, with those and then at night after, the kids have gone to bed I'm on email, a great, deal I get. Messages during the day that's my chance to give long responses, and then over the weekend, I. Send. A lot of mail as well as well I take, two weeks a year to. Just go off and read and think where I'm not interrupted. By work or anything else I'm just, solidly. Trying to think about the future and people. Get to send me things to read as part of that so-called think, week so it's nice, mix of things about, 25%. Of the time then I'm out, traveling. Around meeting with customers, Europe, Asia, and, that sort of helps, me think okay do we have the right priorities what, what, are people responding well to and what would they they, like to see us do better I'm.
On Think week about 50 weeks year. You'd. Be surprised, at. At. My days I mean they are they're very. Unstructured. No. Meetings. None. I mean I don't like meetings and. I read. A lot. I wish. Over a faster reader you know I get more done but I do, read a lot and I I. I'm. On the phone a, moderate. Amount. Our. Businesses, run themselves basically. Out there my job is allocating, capital and, and I that's what I'm thinking about, but. I don't like to have things. All packed hour an hour an hour and and, though I are both extraordinarily, lucky I mean we really get to do what we like, to do the way we want to do it with people that we choose to be around then they're terrific I mean we we've really got everything, our. Way and it's a we're very fortunate and in his. World. He has some he has a different kind, of pace than I have but. We both love it the way we do it and and. My. Guess is that were each the most productive, in that particular, mode too because it it, it. Fits our personalities. And and and aptitudes. My. Name is Topher, Voorhees and I'm a senior finance major my. Question is uh after. The Xbox 360, where do you see video games going. Well. Xbox 360, is pretty good step. It's. Sort of the first of, a generation, what we call High Definition games, where the the. Realistic. Vision. That you get is is almost like reality. The. Other big thing is we, want gaming to be more social, so this idea of live where your friends, can get on and you can have, spectators. And contests. And make. It into, a very, social, activity but. We think we, can draw in people. Who. Are older people who are younger more. Women into it by having, more. Variety of these game types now. Every four or five years there'll be a new game so after Xbox, 360 I don't know what we'll call it you know 720. Or something. Obvious. Like that. You. Don't have to go out much further until the visual realism, is. So good that it's, like trying, to improve CD, audio and. You know there, there are ways of encoding audio, with more resolution, than, a compact. Disc but, people, can't tell the difference so a lot of it will come back to the creativity. Of, those. Game developers, we, will start to have cameras, and speech recognition so you'll, be able to talk to the game instead, of just using the, triggers. You'll be able to take you know a bat or a golf club and our camera, will watch, what. You're doing, and so, it'll be a bit more like a virtual reality thing. In terms of. Reacting. And then it it's seen exactly, how to respond to that. I'm. A senior marketing major here at the University and, if. You guys, decided, to drop a hundred dollar bill would you bother going back to pick it up or would you let a lowly college student like myself go get it. If. He drops ten cents off the floor as he walks out or he doesn't pick it up I'll pick it up. Next. Warren. Buffett and Bill Gates give, world-class, advice, to the students about good habits making mistakes, and keeping, their inner scorecard, in check. And. I am a senior Business Administration, major here at the University and I was just wondering what is the best piece of advice you've, ever been given and, how, has it impacted your personal, or professional lives. What. Did I tell you that impressed you the most. First. I met Warren we were talking about getting together and doing something. Again he pulled out his calendar, and the, pages were so, blank, and. I said wow you, know you've managed, to avoid getting tied, in to a lot of kind of meaningless activity. And you. Know Warren said yeah you have to be good at saying no and. Picking. The things that really make a difference and that's, one of many things I've learned from warm but that's one of my favorites, and I, so I can blame it on him whenever I'm turning. Things down actually. I I told him that was it the truth is I don't get invited anyplace. I. Think. That and. I got. An. Awful, lot of good advice from my dad and he didn't he didn't lay it on me I mean he just you. Know you you. Picked it up from him but that was never any of this you know do this do that type. Of thing at all but but I think. He really taught, me that it's more important. In. Terms of what's on your inner scorecard, than your outer scorecard, I mean some people get.
In A position where they they're, thinking all of the time of what what. The world's gonna think of this or that instead, of what they themselves think about and if if, your inner score card if you're if you're comfortable with that I. Think, you're gonna have, a pretty happy life and I think the people that strive too much for the outer score. Card sometimes. Find that it's a little Hollow when they get all through. I'm. Mary riser I'm an accounting, major I'd. Like to know we all concern, you to be the financial business. Experts, and we look to you and follow your lead but, when you need advice and feedback about an idea, or decision I'd like to know who do you go to. Well. Usually I look in the mirror. The. Nature of what I do. Means. I have to think pretty much independently. Because. If I take a poll in, effect. I'm, gonna do what everybody else is doing and I don't think much of that usually in investments, and so I, have. To have an environment, and. I have to have a temper but personally, that. Lets me think for myself and. I've. Got a terrific, partner fellow named Charlie Munger and. You. Can't, find anybody any smarter, any. Better quality of anything but, we think a lot, alike and we do, talk things over occasionally, but we don't talk him over very often because I know, how he thinks he knows how I think he's what he's taught me a lot you know and and you know why should I pay for a phone call but my boys gonna say, so. If. I need to get a, cabinet. Around to make decisions, or anything like that I probably, shouldn't be running the place, and. That. Doesn't, bothered me to have the responsibility for it but I I just don't want to put it up to a vote because I've seen too many particularly. Investment, world as, you. Get larger and larger groups making the decisions, they get more and more homogenized, and. I don't think you will ever get. Brilliant. Investment, decisions out of a large committee. For. Me probably, the most important, decisions I make or a lot like when I pick what technologies. The. Company's going to bet on those, are a bit, like warrants where you really have to be willing to be.
Contrary, To leave, some things aside, and go into some places that aren't aren't. Very hot if you, get. Out of side of that technical realm, you. Know I'm super, lucky I have Steve Ballmer who's. Now CEO of Microsoft and. We're. In, each other's offices almost. Every day he, you. Know he's more of a business, type, think or I'm more of a technology type, thinker but we a little bit have learned what. The other one's going to say or, over. The years so we can give. Each other a hard time about the. Positions, we expect. Outside. Of that if I had some really tough decision, I. Talked. To my dad I talked, to Warren. I had, talked to my wife Melinda. So, I have, enough, people that know, me and actually. Know where. My. Judgment. Isn't. Its strongest, where I might get overexcited. About something, or you know forget to think about something and so they're good at correcting particularly, good at correcting. Whatever. Those. Blind spots are and I think it's good to encourage, your. Friends, and advisers, to. Really give them that license, you know I can go to a party and forget to say hello to various, people or something that's a very minor example, of my blind spot. A. Small. Number of people that. You can turn to on on certain, key things is, a great. Great. Asset, and incidentally, it at Berkshire still. Has an integrated business. We have this diverse, group out, there but, we have 40 managers and I really, encourage them to be doing the same thing I mean they they run their businesses and they don't how to do it they're gonna make some mistakes but they. Basically make. The calls and they don't have to check with, us it's it's amazing how decentralize, we, are in that respect but but. You know we bet our brains and we bet on people with. Energy and brains and integrity and and and, they're. Gonna call most of them right and I think we would lose an awful lot by having all kinds of layers of committees, to review that they had to check whether that sort of thing. I'm. Caitlin Poulter I'm an actuarial, science major and I'm a junior and, you, both have several managers working under you so I was wondering what are some steps that a new entrant into the job market can, take to accelerate. Their journey towards an upper level, management position. Yeah. Well one thing I will tell you that I didn't realize when I was getting. Out of school is how much, the. Unusual, person, will. Jump out at, you I mean you. Know and it isn't because they got 200 IQs or anything like that it's, really because it's just how they behave you know what they bring the. Energy they bring the, commitment, they bring the quality, of how they do, things how. They treat the people around them all kinds of things but you. Will jump out much, more than you might anticipate. Things you would want to be, sure to do. Is. Whether. You like it or not get. Very, comfortable. It may take a while with public speaking for example I mean that that's, a an asset, that. Will last you fifty or sixty years and it's a liability, if you don't like doing it and are uncomfortable doing it but also will, ask you fifty or six years and it's a necessary skill. But. A lot of the skills are just human skills if. You get the best out of people around you that's. A rare talent and it doesn't, it doesn't correlate, with IQ it correlates with a you know an attitude, then they don't toward, the world and toward other people and it's. A talent that if you work at early, and you're really conscious about it you know you don't have to show up other people you know you're not a smart Ernie or anything you, want to bring out the best in them it. Will pay huge dividends. Certainly. In the the, business. Microsoft, is in the opportunity. Of an. Employer after they've been with accompaniment say. Three years people. Can start to rise they can rise because they're good. At strategy, and. That's mostly, writing. Things they, can rise because they're leaders of people they, can rise because they're an individual contributors, and we try to have career paths that are, good. For each of those things well, the ideal person to be frank is somebody who's, good at all three of those things and as you get high up in the organization the. Jobs really demand, great. Individual, thinking skills being great with people and great with strategy, it's, always stunning to me given, how many smart, people there are and in, these individual, buckets there's. There. Are quite a few people but, when you want that combination, it's, rare and I, don't know why it is it's possibly, if you're a good individual contributor. That, you're given so much slack that you're never encouraged. To. Reach, out to other people and get their ideas but the the people who have that right combination.
Or, If, they if they're not good at one of those things they partner, up with someone, and draw that. Missing piece out those are very rare so whenever we're, looking at top spots. You. Know if, we could find more people like that we it'd be a fantastic thing. My, name is Ryan McGlinn I'm from Omaha Nebraska. I'm a senior accounting major and my. Question mr. gates is I received, an email a couple weeks back from you and it said if I forward it to 20 people and get I'd get $10,000. I still, don't see the money yet how, do you think you got to be number one on that list. Yeah. I get a lot of that spam email myself. My. Favorite was they offered to cover my legal costs for just dollars a month. Trying. To track those people down. In. All seriousness. When. You were just, beginning, your career what what sort of things do you think were, made, a big impact on your success what habits did you develop and kind, of what what sort of things could you pass on to us as younger people I had. One, habit. That I developed. When I when I was at. College it, was actually very bad habit which was I like. To show people that I didn't, do any work and. That I didn't, go to classes. And I didn't care and then, at the very last, minute, like. Two days before the test I get, serious about it and and, people people. Thought that was funny you. Know that was my positioning, the guy who did nothing until the last minute then, when I went into business, that, was a really, bad habit. And. It took me a couple years to get over that nobody, praised me because I would. Do things at the last minute and I tried to reverse to. Student side actually I. Didn't. Think that highly of who were always organized. And had things done on time I'm I'm still working on it but. Procrastination. Is not a good good habit bill can change clothes in the car I mean that's. Why we don't Sherman, Sherman Geico, isn't Italy but. He, has a little that habit like so. But they, haven't you development, and so I go back the other thing is have the right heroes I mean I've always, been lucky in that respect and then if, you, know if you the people you look up to, are. Going to form your vision, of what the world you, know how you want to be in later life and the, one. Mile. Give you two pieces of advice I'd invest as much in myself as, you can I mean you're you're you're your own biggest asset, by far I mean you've got you've got all kinds of potential all the people in this room you know you're lucky to be in this country got, a good education, but. Most. People go through life using. Up a very, very, small part of their potential and so anything you do that invest, in yourself. Is. That's. The best investment you, can possibly make and then I would I would follow my passion I mean whatever turns you on you. Know I, I. Found. I was lucky I found something early that that turned me on but but. You. Don't want to take a job just for the money you, don't want to take a job for an organization, that you really don't feel good about or work for people that you don't feel good about you know you really want to be excited when you get out of bed every morning it won't necessarily be the job that you have ten years later but. You'll be learning so much as you go along and you know, I I took a job with Ben, Graham my hero and and, that you, know I never asked the salary and I found at the end of the month when I got my first paycheck what I was earning because I just knew it was the right thing to be to.
Be Doing so I would I would I would follow follow. Your passion. I'm. A senior marketing major I guess my question is hearing, about the globalization, of business being, a small business owner myself I wonder how you see that affecting the small business sector I. Don't. Think most. Small businesses, as I think of them I don't think it's going to have that much effect. On what you do I mean if you're bringing something. To. Your customer, that they want at a price that makes sense for them you know you're not going to be undercut by whether. Somebody's doing something in China, Indiana small business I mean when I think of a small businesses, I deal with, they. Do not have a problem. With with globalization, if. You've got a major, textile. Business or shoe business or, you know furniture business you're going to be very. Much affected by what's, going on around the world in terms of production cost. Globalization. Is, important. To track because it's changing, the rules of the game as, warren said it. Doesn't directly affect a small business because usually the fact that you're there locally doing, a very differentiated, product means that somebody, far away can't, do. Exactly what you do, the biggest change agent, globalization. Is the what's. Going on in China where, they are in a sense even. More capitalistic. Than we are in. Terms of how they're they're letting businesses, develop, and keeping things very efficient, and so, I think it's. Very, important, what no matter what career everybody. Here is going into to, look at China as a change agent think about globalization. And then thinking about these. Indirect, effects, on the opportunities. For. The the companies you work, for I think that will be very important. I'm. Marissa pond I'm a senior management, major obviously. As a public what we hear most about are your successful, investing, in ventures are the new products that you develop that work out I was just wondering what is what would you consider to be the worst investment, you've ever made.
The. Worst investment, I ever made how. Long do you have. Well. I I've made, some very bad ones but that doesn't really bother me I, may. Bother the shareholders, but that's another question. You. Know you're gonna make you're gonna make mistakes in life I mean there's, no question about it you don't want to make them on the big decisions, you know who you marry and says some things like that so there's no way I'm going to make a lot of business. And investment decisions without making some mistakes I may try to minimize, them I don't. I don't dwell on them at all I don't I don't look back, the biggest mistakes. Are. The ones that actually don't show up they're the mistakes of omission rather than Commission we've never lost that much money on any, one investment. But. It's the things that I knew enough to do that I didn't do we have we, have missed profits, of as. Much as you, know maybe ten billion, dollars in things that, I knew enough to do and I didn't do now the fact they didn't by Microsoft, way, back. Is, not a forgone opportunity, because I didn't know enough to make that decision, but, there have been other. Investments. Where I didn't know enough to make the decision and. For one reason or another I either didn't. Do it at all or I did it on a small scale I was sucking my thumb when I should have been writing checks you know basically and and, you. Know those don't show up yeah there's no place where it shows, missed opportunities. But I've I've missed some big ones the, triumphs, in life, are. Partly. Trying to because you know that everything isn't going to be a triumph and and and I, would. Never get too hung up on, mistakes. I know a lot of people that really agonize, over them, and and it it just isn't worth it I mean tomorrow's another day and you live it forward and just go on to the next thing I think. In in Microsoft's, case the biggest mistake, is. Where, we. Miss, something. That's coming along is going to be huge and, for us if we get in too early like, the. Idea of delivering, TV. Over the Internet IPTV we. Got in probably five years before we needed to it's just now starting. To happen I don't I don't feel bad. About that at all there's. A few things like understanding. Direction. Say the internet, search would go where. We go. We're. Playing the tiny bit of ketchup on that. Let's, you, know let's work, some overtime on this, little. Problem here. People, are kind of under estimating, our, ability, to move. To the front of the pack there and we've had that in many cases we, had that when the internet came along and became, this big phenomena, that we needed to really. Push. The company into that we had that one IBM broke off its relationship, with us and went in to, competition, with us that was a, very. Big challenge but we don't want to have anything that comes along some. Breakthrough, in terms of how software has done that we haven't gotten, the best people in and are putting. That together with the work we're doing so it'd be missing, something. Like that that that'd. Be our worst mistake. Hi. My name is Moreau axe and I'm a freshman international. Business major how. Much money as you guys be, in both billionaires, do you guys carrying a wallet in a given time how much we got in our wallet well. I can answer that, because. We're going to go to this. Evening we're gonna get in a poker game, okay and it's a $500, buy-in. So. I made very sure that I had a fire at least $500, in my wallet. And. I have a little more than that but I don't carry around a lot of buddy bill no. Actually a lot of times it's weird I don't carry a while at all I do what I do carry his bridge problems, so that if, I get in in a line or, things, are slow or even driving. I. Like. To have something to mental. To work on he, dollars. Tonight. I'm. Ready for the game. As. The event nears its end students. Ask questions about how they can change the world and Warren. Buffett and Bill Gates offer, surprising. Insight, into the true nature of success. I'm. A senior economics, major a lot, of us are pursuing. Higher education because, we want to leave the world a better place than, the one we found it and, as. One. Person at the end of the day who can actually affect. Tremendous. Amounts, of people and ideas how do you make your decisions. You're, you're changing, the world every day I mean, if you if, it's nothing but, the children you have I mean you know you are forming, their view of the world and everyday and you do it every day so you are a teacher but. With, the people around you one, of the best. Things in life to do is to surround yourself with high grade people because you will behave. As the.
People Around you do but they in turn are getting it from you it's kind of like a planetary, system and and. You. Will try promise, you you know, you will change the world in some way and, my guess is you'll change it very much for the better and and but, you can't expect to see something dramatic, I mean it's not it's not one of those Shazam, boom you know moments. Or something of the sort but. You, you. By how you're behaving. Are. Are. Affecting, other people setting, an example for other people than you you will find ways to, leave. A better world than you entered that, one. Thought I'd have an honest I think, it's very important, as. Young as possible to get a broad. Exposure. In. This, country to people who are are less, successful in the kind of conditions, they're living in, and what kinds of things are holding them back you. Know is education. Working to tap. Into people's, talents, and given them the equal. Opportunity, we believe in and then ideally, to get. In. Many, places in the world where living. Conditions, aren't nearly what. They are here, in the United States it's. One of these things when you first learn all of this it's. A little easy to be down because you think geez I didn't know it was like, that things. Are improving, and the opportunity. For capable. People to jump in whether, it's helping, with medicines, helping, with education. Small, number of people can, actually make a very, dramatic difference. Hello. I'm Daniel D Loretto from Reno, Nevada my question is our. Society or our generation, Generation, Y we face a lot of issues what. Do you think of some of the most, important, or most challenging. Societal, issues that we face and what can we do as future leaders to ensure, that we create a better society in the future I, think. The issues of equity that we have whether. It's between countries. Or even within our country are pretty. Serious issues, and if you get too far out of whack on, that, then. You. Get a divide and, and. You don't get the fluidity and the sense of opportunity that, this country has, stood for so I think you, know we really got to renew our commitment, to, the ideals around. Equality. And I think, there are there's. A lot of actions, that that suggest, we, should be taking to. Invest in the long term that certainly, at this stage where we're, not taking, right now I. Can't. Say it better than Bill but we, we. Got lucky tickets in life I mean you know got a ticket said American. We got a ticket that said. Intelligent. We got a ticket you know that that said that this time rather than 200, years ago one the same talents but not a produce much so, we, got a very lucky to get life.
A Lot. Of people don't get lucky tickets you know we. Were over in China together, ten, years ago and we saw some people that would make any difference but what. Their brain power was or anything else they weren't going to have a chance at. Least for a long long time I think. We've got to do a much better job of. Not. Only taking care of the people to get the bad tickets in this country but. In doing what Bill and Melinda have done which is going. Around the world and and. Helping, those people, have. Things that we regard as absolute, you know Givens. In our society, I mean bill, has taken vaccines, to. People around the world but the. Diet very young ages and families that get destroyed in all kinds of things there, are things that we, could do something about those are the things that we should be working, on in your, generation. I'm. Jarrett Carlson a senior management major my. Question is if you could have one superpower what. Would it be and why. One. Superpower. Extending. Extending. One's one's lifetime would, be a reasonable. Thing yeah. I. Know. I don't think being able to get rid of competitors. That wouldn't be much fun that'd be like hitting a hole-in-one all the time being. Able to read super fast yeah that'd. Be nice. Well. Bill can reads where I'm he reads about three times as fast and just think of I mean. He I, probably wasted, ten years reading slowly. No. If you thought about granting a wish I mean what you would with the type, of thing I mean what you really would. Hope is that somehow. You could. Reduce. The. Threat posed by nuclear knowledge in. The world I mean that is that's going to be the great problem of, mankind, in your lifetime, and you. Know the the knowledge is out of the bottle of the genies out of the bottle on that and you, have a lot of evil people in the world them and the, question is how do you prevent. Intent. Of evil people coupled, with knowledge, which has now gotten more widespread, to. Interact in a way where huge, amounts, of damage. Or done the people, throughout the world and that I mean. That if. I could I think, that's the most intelligent, thing to, work on philanthropic Lee for example but I don't know how to do it very well we. Do a little but that's. You. Know that would be the wish but the reason that's, the. Reason it's just kind of a dream is because the problem is so tough. Hi. My name is Kristen Lovegrove I'm a senior, finance major in, our society, that's so material, and you.
And Your families are so well off how do you ensure that your children value, things. That aren't material, and things that will truly make them happy in the end. Well. I was, a little lucky in that respect, in that my kids didn't think I was rich. And. I wasn't rich for a while I mean but but even even after I was that you, know we lived in the same house that they only there's only one house they've known in their life in terms of a primary home and they went to public schools in Omaha, and and. We. Lived in a neighborhood where and we still knew where they where the average incomes probably is more or less average for him for almost so they they, really didn't have that problem my, kids didn't even know what I did I mean. Because. I partly because I couldn't explain it very well but they, did not grow. Up in a rich environment now those. Situations, different and and I'm just in terms of you. Know being a celebrity, and all of that sort of thing and that that came late enough with me that it didn't didn't, really pull pose problems for the family but it it has to be a it's, a significant, factor in I'll turn over the bill I couldn't, I can verify what Warren said about his house. I was very excited to go visit you know I think what has he done what. Amazing. Things is he gonna have and I went into his dining. Room he didn't even have seats on the chairs. And. He didn't even know they were missing either so. There's. No hurry on these things I. Think. It is tough and perhaps. Particularly. So, when. Children grow up and. Have. A very, nice house and they think you. Know what are the real limitations, I do think there's some very basic, things around giving. Them an allowance at a young age and sticking, to that and having, them decide okay you want to buy a candy bar today that means you can't buy one. In in the future and start. To figure. Out that there. Are real limits I do. Think we're lucky that our children will get to go to. Africa. And Asia and see how. People live in and, even, from a young age understand. That the United States is in. Statistically. An aberration, that the lifestyles, we have we should wish that. Many. Decades, in the future that the world at large can. Live in these same ways and. You. Know hope that people treat them in a normal. Way and treat them for what they're actually. Good, at that you know would bother me a lot if they were being approached. Because. Somebody thought they could influence something you. Know it's an awful thing every kid should be evaluated. Based on on who, they are and what, they're doing our. Kids are. Rich, are going, to be rich by the standards, of the world they. Don't think they're going to inherit a. Significant. Portion of the portions, of either of us I mean 99%. Of what I have a will, it will go to philanthropy one, way or another and, and and Bill. Has the same attitude basically. That. We.
Are Not going to, turn. Out some super wealthy super. Super wealthy because they'll be wealthy I mean there's no question about that and that's. But. The, idea of dynastic. Fortunes. You. Know I find it turns, me off on that I don't think it's what America's about I don't think if, you talk about it quality of opportunity in this country and really having. Everybody with talents having a fair shot at getting the brass ring and all of that the idea that you that. You hand huge, positions, in society on, simply. Because someone came from the right womb you, know that I find that I. Just. Think it's almost on American. My. Name is Mathew bode I'm a senior, from Elgin Nebraska several. Eastern European, countries have successfully. Enacted a flat income tax and now, there is growing pressure in, Western Europe to do the same, would, you support the. United States adopting, a flat income tax and why or why not. Well. I wouldn't, support it I you'd. Be amazed how flat it is already if. You look at both. The. Payroll tax which is over 12% now, and that, applies on the first 80 or 90 thousand dollars of income so bill and I pay, practically, none of that in, relation, to our income the, people that work force it's a big big. Tax. So, if you take the tax. That. My assistant, or you. Know the anybody, in our office pays they've. Got 12% on that first eighty, or ninety thousand, dollars and then they have the income tax and, their. Tax rate. Literally. In many cases, is not well. It's it's it's the same and maybe even higher than, my own tax rate since they cut the rate on capital gains to fifteen percent and dividends to fifteen percent so, what has gone on in this country in the last well. In very recent years is a. Huge. Benefit. To the, very rich and. And. Not that much relief to people down below and people when, you read about tax rates that you usually leave out the payroll tax and they don't they don't refer this twelve and a fraction percent so, we have come in my view to a taxation, system that's much too flat in this country and and frankly, I think that that, bill and I should have a higher tax. Rate on the, income we get we pay a lot of taxes, but but, it's. Really at a very, low rate and it's a rate that's, less. Than half the tax rate that. I was paying twenty, five years ago when I was making a lot less money they. Have really taken care of the rich. Yeah. I go. Along with. That wholeheartedly I think we. Probably need a more. Progressive system. As we look to balance, the. Budget that, at some point I think people. Will recognize, that, needs to be done probably one of the ways that'll be done is is that, the rich, should. Bear us slightly, a somewhat, higher proportion, of the burden than they do today. Very. Large fortunes, are never go through an income tax maybe it's a little ironic but, both Warren and I would say things in several. Aspects of the tax system should, be more. Progressive I could spend the rest of my life and I could have done this 20, years ago and actually, pay no federal, income tax because I could have taken my Berkshire Hathaway stock, borrowed. Some money against, it every. Year to live on and when, I died you. Know then the estate would would pay off the debt on it but I could, have gone through my life a good, bit of my life without, paying any income tax whatsoever and and it's I frankly, think it's it's, very unfair.
Hi. My name is Dan Sam I'm a senior finance major my. Question is the Forbes 400 put, your collective, net worth at 91. Billion dollars by, comparison, that figure, exceeds the combined gross domestic product, of the bottom 70 nations in the world how. Do you feel that your immense wealth. Contributes. To the balance of global prosperity. Yeah. Well the wealth. In. Effect is a bunch of I mean the the prosperity. Comes about through the products, that Microsoft, turns out I mean they're changing the lives of, millions. And millions of people in the process you get these. Eventual. Claim checks on society's. Output these little pieces of paper that I've gotten a vault, called stock certificates, no can be turned in at some point to. To. Get goods and services, of one sort or another basically. The money is going to go in. A, way that we think, will. Have the most impact beneficial. Impact on society, viewed on a global basis not just on a national, or regional basis, it. Will go. We. Hope until as. Intelligently, as we can make it go to. Change the lives of people all over the world now there's two factors in interned that's, the amount you leave or. Put in the charity, and and then how efficiently, you do it build. And malenda in my view. They. Run the largest one but I would say they also. Certainly. Among all the big ones there anybody that I know about they run the most efficient one they have literally said to. Themselves. How. Do we use this money, to. Change in a major way for, the better the, lives of the most people in the world what, could be more rational so they've combined, what I would call head and heart. With. Huge sums of money and no. One's gotten result in my view like, they have yeah. I think the key point here is, that owning. In Warren owns a big, piece of Berkshire, I own still, a measurable, piece of, Microsoft. That's, not consumption, what. The, limited, resource of society. Come. Up you, hit those limits as you consume, and so, somebody who makes say, 50 million and chooses to you, know just build mansions and, have things. Happen for them they. Are diverting. Resources in. Their direction instead of those resources, being used say. To help out people are less successful and, so, in fact if you can accumulate. Some, of society's well, through luck, and skill and then make sure it's used on behalf that the consumption.
Overwhelmingly. Goes. To the less fortunate and, it's a little bit like Robin Hood your recycling, wealth from that top, part back. And, it's. Incumbent on the people the. Higher up that list you are the more in. A sense there's a responsibility. To put not only the wealth but your brainpower into, those activities, I. Am. Alison maca senior, marketing major as. College students for constantly, thinking and planning towards the future, where do you personally envision, yourself to be in 10 years. I'm. Glad you didn't ask my doctor. I'll. Be if. I'm in decent health I'll be doing exactly what I'm doing now because I'm doing what I love now I mean if I could, do almost anything, that doesn't require any athletic, or mental ability, and. I, what. Do I choose to do I choose to jump, out of bed every morning and run down and work at Berkshire, Hathaway and I don't see anything that changes that I'm doing what I love and you. Know health will determine how. Long I can keep doing it but I've. Told my children that. When I start going gaga and you know spend my time spinning yo-yos and things like that there. To come to me and, and. Tell me that it's it's time to step down but I've told them they better all come as a group because if just one comes I'm gonna take him out of the will. Now. Ten ten years now I'll be. Turning 60. I, have, to say every every time the the, age ten years older than me always seems like that's when I'll be old when, I was 40 I thought fifty would. Be that mark now that I'm very. Close to that no no no that's that's not being, old you. Know my life's work in terms, of creating and companies is certainly. Around. Microsoft. Over, the next ten years my balance, between the time I spend on, philanthropic. Things. Versus. My. My, full-time job will switch somewhat in the favor of doing philanthropy. Spending, more time on that it. Does mean I need to get, one. Of the great young people at Microsoft to, sort of get on the hot seat of setting the product strategy, which is a. Great. Part of my job I love my job it's an amazing, job, and. You. Know I'll always be able to have some mix of Microsoft, and then than a bit more philanthropy. Hello. My name is Paul Turnus I'm Senior Business Administration. And music major from. North Dakota originally. I was, wondering what is your definition of, success and what has been your largest non-business. Success. In life. Well. We've played ping pong against a nine-year-old girl. Two, weeks ago her. Name's Arielle yeah, how many points did she got up bill, got more poise offer than I did I, thought. I was pretty good, this. Little nine-year-old she's, disgusting, she should have been in bed. She. Totally, cleaned us. Though. That was that, was a little humiliating. And. It's in my case my my. Goal for, success. Out outside. Of work is is definitely, raising, a family, just. Getting started with that and I, think there's some unique challenges, of, when. A parent, is very visible and. Has. Money and things like that it's not easy in any case to raise. Kids the right way but. I'd say I you know I I hope hope, to be successful at that so. Far I haven't caused cosmetic. Damage they seem to be doing okay we get a lot of people who want us to adopt them. He's. Working on his children I'm working on my great-grandchildren, but otherwise we've got the same approach I. Would. Say this in terms of success this will surprise you, but. I would say, I've. Never known anybody. That. Got. My. Age or close to my age that had. Lots of people that loved them that. Tell anything other than a success I mean you have lived a successful, life, if. As you get older the people that you love you knew and that includes, your dear family, your, business associates all, kinds of people and I and the. Converse, of that is that I know people, normally. Wealthy you. Know they, get schools named after them and they get they get you.
Know They. Get, dinners. And their honor all that sort of thing and the, truth is that nobody thinks a thing of them and I got. It I have to believe they know that and that everything gets quite, hollow in their. Life at that point and they've got all these markers, and there's people on the Forbes 400 you know that are in that category and I, won't name names. But. It's I really. I can't think of anyone I've known and I've. Known some, you. Know a lot of people by this point my life I. I've seen them in very. Ordinary jobs of, all, kinds, of situations. That. The people around them love them they. Feel very successful. Thank. Both of you so much we appreciate.