Steve Ballmer, of Microsoft fame, launched USAFacts earlier this year to created a way to track government spending. I enjoy browsing through some of his findings. Ballmer and Bill Gates became friends while attending Harvard in the 70s and eventually formed Microsoft, made a pot full of money, retired and then the two drifted apart.
According to one source, Gates now spends most of his time with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and still provides advice for Microsoft leaders. Ballmer now owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team and a huge chunk of Twitter. Since severing ties with Microsoft, he has spent millions on worthy projects, USAFacts to track government spending is just one effort.
Among his findings, government revenue totaled $5.2 trillion in 2014, the most recent year for such data. Some 60% of that is from the federal government, and the rest from state and local governments.
Ballmer says he was surprised to learn 23.2 million people work for the government in some form, but his biggest surprise of all was how hard it is to find such seemingly simple information. Thus USAFACTS. Interesting info on many different topics.
One more of the many facts, he discovered that 9% of all U.S. bridges are “structurally deficient”—though that is an improvement from 1980, when the figure was 27%.
Looking for something interesting to read, Google Steve Ballmer or USAFACTS.
Discovered some inspiring quotes from Sir Richard Branson, the iconic Virgin Group founder.
1) A business may be started with very little money.
2) Consider getting smaller in order to get bigger.
3) You can be a David vs. a Goliath, if you get it right.
4) A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.
5) Unless you dream, you’re not going to achieve anything.
6) You can get too close with a doctor, a banker, and not realize you should actually snoop around.
7) Detail is very important.
8) You can create a business, choose a name, but unless people know about it you’re not going to sell any products.
9) Find someone else to run your business on a day-to-day basis.
10) Protect against the worst eventualities. Make sure you know what they are.
11) I think because I have great difficulty saying the word, ‘no’, almost every day’s a different adventure.
Richard Branson advice: Listen more than you talk.
robert g hester