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25 quotes from Bill Gates that take you inside the mind of the world's richest man


bill gatesBill Gates isn't budging from his longstanding position as the richest person on earth. With a net worth of $87.4 billion, Gates is $20 billion richer than the next-wealthiest person — Spanish fashion titan Amancio Ortega — according to Wealth-X data from our new ranking of the 50 richest people in the world.

Gates made his billions building juggernaut software maker Microsoft, but his main venture these days is giving it all away through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he and his wife set up in 2000 as a vehicle for managing their charitable causes, like eradicating infectious diseases and hunger.

The Financial Times wrote that "through the stroke of pen on cheque book, Gates probably now has the power to affect the lives and well-being of a larger number of his fellow humans than any other private individual in history."

How did the world's wealthiest man get to where he is today? Gathered from 20 years of interviews, these quotes show how Gates went from computer geek to software titan to history-shifting activist all while building a multibillion-dollar fortune.

Original reporting by Drake Baer and Steven Benna.

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On the journey so far

"It's pretty amazing to go from a world where computers were unheard of and very complex to where they're a tool of everyday life. That was the dream that I wanted to make come true, and in a large part it's unfolded as I'd expected. You can argue about advertising business models or which networking protocol would catch on or which screen sizes would be used for which things. There are less robots now than I would have guessed."

Rolling Stone, March 13, 2014

On why Microsoft succeeded

"Most of our competitors were one-product wonders ... They would do their one product, but never get their engineering sorted out.

"They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation."

BBC, June 19, 2008

On collaborating with Apple early on

"We had really bet our future on the Macintosh being successful, and then, hopefully, graphics interfaces in general being successful, but first and foremost, the thing that would popularize that being the Macintosh.

"So we were working together. The schedules were uncertain. The quality was uncertain. The price. When Steve first came up, it was going to be a lot cheaper computer than it ended up being, but that was fine."

AllThingsD, May 31, 2007

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Here's what 6 execs at Spring — a buzzy mobile shopping app that just partnered with Facebook — wear to work


Spring app

When you work at a mobile shopping startup, style comes with the territory. Spring is an app that offers fashion-forward goods from over a thousand brands on one sleek, swipe-to-buy platform.

Launched in 2014 by Tisch brothers Alan and David — with backing from major funds like Google Ventures and fashion industry bigwigs like Steven Alan — the app made headlines last month as the partner Facebook chose to pioneer their shopping bot program on Messenger. Spring has raised over $30 million in venture capital so far, positioning itself as a one-stop shop for consumers, and a simple solution for brands seeking better relationships with buyers.

"Brands aren't great technology companies," Marshall Porter, Spring's president, told Business Insider. "And they shouldn't have to be. They should be great product companies; they should be great storytellers. But to take advantage of mobile and direct-to-consumer, they need a technology partner. And we are positioned to be that."

Spring helps you curate a custom feed of brands you like, from American Apparel basics to handmade soaps and high-end Opening Ceremony designs, while providing free shipping and returns on purchases. With a broad array of brands at your fingertips, it also makes it easy to discover unexpected designs.

Curious to get a peek into the operation and the fashionable figures within, Business Insider stopped by their buzzing Manhattan office, where 80-plus employees get perks like cold-brew coffee on tap in a bright, open-plan space. We got a chance to chat with six of the company's top brass to get a sense of what makes Spring tick — and, of course, what they're wearing to work at the intersection of fashion and tech.

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Alan Tisch

Role: "I'm the CEO of the company, so a little bit of everything." That covers three main areas: product and design, team development and management, and high-level partnerships.

Before Spring: "I wouldn't say that I was a fashionista by background, but I've always been an e-commerce lover," Tisch said. The entrepreneurial bug bit early: as a devoted Nike sneakerhead in his early teens, he bought limited-edition pairs in bulk and sold them for profit, becoming an eBay power seller by the age of 13. "I would force my mom to drive me to the post office every morning before school to mail out a bunch of boxes," Tisch said. He still has about half of his collection. "They're near and dear to my heart."

How Spring has changed his style: "I definitely dress better today than I did prior to starting Spring, and I think it's just because I'm surrounded by people that are so knowledgeable about what's new, what's on-trend," he said. "But more than anything, from just using the app, there are so many small brands that I've discovered on there and fallen in love with." How do you fall in love with a brand? Part of it is making sure that the digital presence tells a complete story. "We're really focused here on: how do you create a more rich experience online that feels more like walking into a store, and less like just being sold products? I think we're all convinced that online shopping can still be fun, and can be emotional, and can be entertaining in the same way as walking around SoHo on a Saturday."

What he's wearing: John Varvatos shoes, 3x1 jeans, custom-made shirt, Nike socks.

His favorite Spring finds: 3x1 jeans, which he now wears exclusively; also, the Public School brand.

David Tisch

Role: "I'm one of the co-founders and I'm the chairman, so I work with my brother — who's the CEO — and I call myself the 'Chief Distraction Officer.' So anything distracting for the company on a day-to-day basis, I handle. Tech press is a good example of this ... fundraising ... I tend to meet a lot of our senior hires first and do a screening there."

How Spring has changed his style: Although Tisch's wife is a fashion designer and his brother is "fashion-focused", Tisch's background is in tech: he runs a fund called BoxGroup and co-founded Techstars in New York. "I dress more cleanly now than ever," Tisch said. "I think everybody probably ups their game one degree here."

What he's wearing: White & Warren cashmere hoodie, Brunello Cucinelli button-down, Del Toro belt, AG jeans, Nike sneakers.

His favorite Spring find: Burkman Bros. cashmere sweatpants.


April Uchitel

Role: "I'm the chief brand officer, which at Spring means that I'm in charge of curating and developing and engaging the brand community. So we launched with 200 brands, and we're now over 1,000 brands. I've probably met with about 2,000 brands myself, so it's quite an endeavor."

How Spring has changed her style: Uchitel is a serious fashion insider, having worked for over 20 years in the industry, including 9 years as global head of sales at Diane von Furstenburg. "You can be a bit more casual," Uchitel says of the Spring approach to dressing. "But obviously we're still representing fashion on the curation side, so we kind of build in an urban uniform in a way — things that can go all day long with different events." As for how her style has changed? "I'm getting more and more into my sneakers," she said. 

What she's wearing: Zero + Maria Cornejo dress, vintage Diane von Furstenberg leather jacket, Lucchese boots, Ryan Porter bracelet.

What she buys on Spring: "What we really set out to do is build a marketplace that has your fast fashion and luxury all in one place," Uchitel said. That means she can order hand soap from The Honest Company, t-shirts from American Apparel, and luxury sneakers with just a few swipes.


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Australia's famous rock pools are stunning


Mahon Rock Pool is a natural pool on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in Sydney, Australia. These oceanside "rock pools" are common in Australia, and many of them were built by convicts in the 1800s.

Written by Chloe Miller and produced by David Fang

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1% of people in the US don't have this ability


Have you ever had the urge to say to someone else, "I feel for you?"

If so, provided you actually did feel the emotions of that person, chances are you're part of the 99% of people who experience empathy. For most of us, this experience plays a huge, often overlooked role in our daily lives.

Happify, a website and app that uses science-based interactive activities aimed at increasing your happiness, created this graphic to break down the myriad ways empathy affects our lives. Check it out:

Happify Empathy

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The 10 highest-rated boutique hotels around the world


Hotel L'OrologioWhen it comes to having an incredible vacation, where you choose to stay can make all of the difference. Boutique hotels, in particular, can bring their own eclectic flavor to your experience, as they tend to be more exclusive and intimate than major chain hotels.

For its Loved by Guests Awards, Hotels.com looked at trusted reviews from travelers to find the best hotels in different caregories. One of those was the top 10 boutique hotels from around the globe. 

The results were based on hotels that had an average guest rating of at least 4.7 out of 5, and a minimum of 20 reviews as of December 31, 2015. 

Here are the 10 boutique hotels that travelers love most. 

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10. Praya Palazzo sits in what was once a private Italian-style mansion on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. The property has 17 accommodations designed with classic decor from the Siam period, as well as its own private barge that can take guests across the river. The hotel is close to local attractions like the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Chinatown.

Rooms start at $91 per night.

9. Hotel Gendarm Nouveau is located on the popular Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin, Germany. Guests can choose between 43 elegant rooms and four suites. They also have the option to book a breakfast on the seventh-floor panorama lounge, which offers impeccable views of Gendarmenmarkt.

Rooms start at $100 per night.

8. The intimate Hotel Bagués is located on Las Ramblas, in Barcelona's famous Gothic Quarter. The hotel boasts 31 rooms and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, and a terrace with stunning city views. Since the hotel sits on the premises of the El Regulador palace, which used to house the jewelry workshop of the Bagués-Masriera family, there's a museum showcasing some of the pieces onsite.

Rooms start at $235 per night.

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See inside the new 51-bedroom 'dorm for adults' in Brooklyn


commonGeneral Assembly cofounder Brad Hargreaves wants you to stop fighting with your roommates.

His new company, Common, is one of a few "co-living" startups that have sprung up in places like New York and San Francisco, designed to bring the tech ethos to bear on the idea of communal living. On Saturday, Common opened by far its biggest project to date, a 51-bedroom complex in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood.

Co-living is just a fancy way of saying living with people other than your family, and Hargreaves explains that the idea behind Common isn't meant to be revolutionary. People sometimes approach Common like it's some completely new invention, he says. But really what he wants to do is craft the ideal roommate experience for someone who doesn't necessarily have an extended social network in New York to tap into (more than half of Common residents are first-time New Yorkers).

Common tries to do this by taking care of things that cause tension between roommates, like cleaning and buying communal furniture, and setting up the living situation in a way that encourages people to be social with their neighbors.

But Hargreaves doesn't like the comparison to a "dorm for adults." He says that implies things like shared bedrooms (none of the bedrooms at Common are shared except for couples) and flimsy furniture. But despite his protests, the co-living idea does seem meant to recapture the spirit of dorm life, where it's easy to hang out with your neighbors and make new friends — just with greatly upgraded amenities (and a price to match). 

Here's how it works:

Common's new building in Williamsburg has 51 bedrooms, which are subdivided into 12 furnished suites. It was 80% full before launch.

To become a Common "member" you have to apply. But Hargreaves (right) and design head Sophie Wilkinson (left) say the main criteria is simply whether you want to be part of the community. They aren't trying to place people together who share interests (or work in tech).

A room in Common's new building costs $1,800 - $2,300 per-month for a 12-month stay (more if you want to lock in for just 3 or 6 months). That's probably more than you would pay in a standard Craigslist situation, though not outrageous given the neighborhood (the average one-bedroom in Williamsburg is around $3,000).

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The largest study on breakups just revealed there’s actually an advantage to being cheated on


A study led by Craig Morris of Binghamton University revealed some surprising benefits to getting cheated on. Women tend to learn more than men after a breakup.

Produced by Emmanuel Ocbazghi. Original reporting by Jessica Orwig.

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This legal drug kills more Americans than heroin — here's what it does to your body and brain



Despite being legal with a doctor's prescription, opioid painkillers can come with serious health risks.

The drugs belong to a larger class of drugs known as opioids, which includes legal, lab-produced drugs like oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

Since they slow breathing and act on the same brain systems as heroin, opioid painkillers carry serious risks, from overdose to, in rarer cases, addiction.

Read on to learn more:

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Opioid painkillers capitalize on our body's natural pain-relief system.

We all have a series of naturally produced keys ("ligands") and keyholes ("receptors") that fit together to switch on our brain's natural reward system— it's the reason we feel good when we eat a good meal or have sex, for example.

But opioids mimic the natural keys in our brain — yes, we all have natural opioids! When they click in, we can feel an overwhelming sense of euphoria.

Opioid painkillers can have effects similar to heroin and morphine, especially when taken in ways other than prescribed by a doctor.

When prescription painkillers act on our brain's pleasure and reward centers, they can make us feel good. More importantly, though, they can work to reinforce behavior, which in some people can trigger a repeated desire to use.

You may also feel sleepy.

Opioids act on multiple brain regions, but when they go to work in the locus ceruleus, a brain region involved in alertness, they can make us sleepy. Why? The drugs essentially put the brakes on the production of a chemical called norepinephrine, which plays a role in arousal.

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