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Windows To The World

What does Bill Gates know that the rest of us don't? Find out from one entrepreneur in this exclusive excerpt from All I Really Need to Know in Business I Learned at Microsoft.

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This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Say what you will about Microsoft, but it's the best training ground for anyone interested in business--any business. Experience that might take years to gain elsewhere comes in bursts of just a few weeks at Microsoft. The place is intense, the market changes constantly, and the growth is phenomenal. The things I learned about doing my job--being a manager, running a business and keeping my career on track--can be applied by anyone in any field. So no matter what industry you're in, try these lessons out. See what happens.

Eat Your Own Dog Good, But Don't Believe Your Own Press Releases.

My summer job at age 16 was selling Godiva chocolates in the local mall. My manager there told me, "Don't just read the descriptions on the brochure; eat every kind of candy we're selling so you can describe and recommend them to customers." I happily complied. A variation of that principle is used at Microsoft. It's not quite as delightful as taste-testing truffles but serves a similar purpose.

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