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VIDEO: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says "The time is now!"

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

It sounds like the intro line from a corny recruitment brochure – “Want to make money, change the world – and have fun doing it?” 

But according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, entrepreneurship might be the way to do just that!

While speaking at the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series at Stanford University, Ballmer said:

“Entrepreneurs who invent, who create, will really add to the level of innovation, the productivity in the economy, will change the world, will create economic value, will drive jobs – and will have a heck of a lot of fun doing it!”

Well, brochure or not, that’s quite the sales pitch for entrepreneurship!

You can view the complete video – about an hour in length; 20 min. of presentation by Ballmer, and 35 - 40 min. of Q&A – in the Kauffman Video Archive


In addition to speaking about his role at Microsoft, meeting Bill Gates at Harvard and his own entrepreneurial journey, some of Steve’s insights include:

- “These are tough economic times, but (they) are rich in opportunity… The opportunity and need to invent… just like any other startup and entrepreneurial opportunity, still exists…”

- “It’s a phenomenal time to be starting ALL KINDS of companies…”

- “Energy, Environmental Science, Technology/Software, Health, Education (are all) opportunities for innovation…”

- (We are experiencing) “a whole generation of opportunity to disrupt the businesses that are out there; to create new businesses that people couldn’t dream of before… It really is a tough, tough, tough environment…(but) the chance for entrepreneurial opportunity is really, really high…”

Microsoft’s – and Ballmer’s – outlook is so optimistic, they’re investing $9 Billion into R & D for the second straight year; developing concepts like their new Windows Azure cloud computing platform; employing more than 45,000 people to create the software – and it’s all driven by their “fundamental optimism about what can be created.”

Steve even touches on  what we’ve been saying in our “E=R: Entrepreneurs = Recovery” campaign: both Microsoft AND Apple were started during  recessions!

As Steve himself asked (and answered): “Are all the great companies already created?  No, not at all…”


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