Larry Ellison is the founder of Oracle where he served as CEO from 1977 to 2015 and is ranked number 10 among the world’s greatest personal fortunes according to Forbes magazine.
Larry Ellison was born in New York on August 17, 1944. When he was just nine months old, his mother Florence Spellman came down with pneumonia and sent him to Chicago to be raised by his sister who adopted him.
When he finished high school, Ellison enrolled at the University of Illinois where he was named science student of the year but during his sophomore year his adoptive mother died and he dropped out. In the fall of the following year he enrolled at the University of Chicago but dropped out after only one semester. He then packed up for California and over the next decade he moved from job to job.
Between college and his various jobs, Ellison had acquired computer skills and was eventually able to put it to use as a programmer at Amdahl where he worked on the first IBM-compatible mainframe system.
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In 1977, he and two of his Amdahl colleagues founded Software Development Labs and soon had a contract to build a database management system they called Oracle for the CIA. The company had less than 10 employees and revenues of less than a million euros per year, but in 1981 IBM decided to use Oracle and the company’s sales doubled every year for the next seven years. Ellison soon renamed the company after his best-selling product, Oracle .
The success continued and as Ellison was the largest shareholder in Oracle, he became one of the richest people in the world. Ellison set his sights on growing his company through acquisition and in the years that followed gobbled up several companies including PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, and Sun Microsystems, all of which helped Oracle reach a market cap of approximately $185 billion. dollars with some 130,000 employees worldwide.
As you can probably see, there’s a lot to be learned from Ellison’s success in business. Here you have this collection of the best Larry Ellison quotes for entrepreneurs.
25 quotes from Larry Ellison
1. “The main objective of a company is to make money. The main function of the Government is to take a large part of that money and give it to others.”
2. “Building Oracle was for me like doing a puzzle for children.”
3. “I have had all the disadvantages necessary to be successful.”
4. “I think that after a certain amount of money, I will give almost everything I have to charity. What else can be done with so much money? You can’t spend it even if you try and I confess I’ve been trying.”
5. “If a software innovator creates something, Microsoft copies it and makes it part of Windows. This is not innovation, this is precisely the end of innovation.”
6. “Life is a journey. It is a journey to discover your limits.”
7. “The most important aspect of my personality in determining my success has been my authority to question conventional wisdom, doubt the experts, and second-guess myself.”
8. “You have to act and act now.”
9. “Five years from now, I don’t know how I’m going to think.”
10. “Software is all about scale. The bigger you are, the more profitable you are. If we sell twice as much software, it didn’t cost us twice as much to develop that software. So the more clients you have, the more scale is in your favor.”
11. “The battle is Microsoft against humanity and Microsoft has a slight advantage.”
12. “When you innovate you have to be prepared for people to tell you that you are crazy.”
13. “I think I’m very goal-oriented. I would like to win the America’s Cup. I would like Oracle to be the No. 1 software company in the world. I still think it’s possible to beat Microsoft.”
14. “If you do everything everyone else does in business you are going to lose. The only way to really be ahead is to be different.”
15. “You have to believe in what you do to get what you want.”
16. “The true information age will not reach companies until they are able to know in real time the true situation of their accounts.”
17. “If your cash is about to run out, you need to reduce your cash flow. CEOs have to make those decisions and live with them as painful as they are. You have to act and act now; and act in the best interest of the company as a whole, even if it means that some people in the company who are your best friends have to work elsewhere.”
18. “When you’re the first person whose beliefs are different from what everyone else believes and you say: I’m right and everyone else is wrong. It is a very unpleasant situation. It is both joy and at the same time an invitation to be attacked.”
19. “High achievers are driven not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure.”
20. “Everyone thought the acquisition strategy was very risky because no one had ever done it successfully. In other words, it was innovative.”
21. “Somehow, escaping the office and taking a little time to reflect allows me to find mistakes in my strategy. I have the opportunity to rethink things. That often helps me correct a mistake I’ve made or someone else is about to make.”
22. “Bill Gates wants people to think he is Edison, when in reality he is just like Rockefeller. The reference to Gates as the smartest man in America is not appropriate. Wealth is not the same as intelligence.”
23. “I think about business all the time. Well, I shouldn’t say all the time. I don’t think about that when I’m waking up. But even when I’m on vacation or on my boat, I’m reading email every day. I always hang around the internet looking at what our competitors are doing.”
24. “The Internet must be a means of communication between peoples that contributes to world peace and that the main objective of high technology is to improve people’s standard of living.”
25. “I would rather people read about Churchill and how he wasn’t overwhelmed by Nazi Germany. It is amazing that the morality of a country rests on the shoulders of one person. Seeing extraordinary people lead that country through its darkest hours is truly inspiring. I guess that’s what I’m passionate about. Whether it’s a biography or a movie; Whether fictional or true, I am inspired by people who do great things.”
What are your favorite Larry Ellison quotes? Leave a comment below.