Larry Ellison is the founder of Oracle corporation, the number two software corporation in the world. Oracle’s rise is truly remarkable. In 1980 it was a small company that did not do one million dollars. Today the company does 37+ billion dollars in annual sales and has a market cap over 160 billion dollars. Oracle’s innovation of SQL helped make the company what it is today.
It hard to imagine the success Ellison has had, given his difficult life. Ellison was born to an unwed Jewish mother in Lower East side of New York City. He was abandoned by his mother to be raised by his extended family. Ellison attended the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago before dropping out and moving to California. It was there that he started Oracle. Today, according to Forbes 400, Ellison is the third wealthiest man in America behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Here is some of his wisdom for entrepreneurs.
Do not accept conventional wisdom
“The most important aspect of my personality as far as determining my success goes; has been my questioning conventional wisdom, doubting experts and questioning authority. While that can be painful in your relationships with your parents and teachers, it’s enormously useful in life.”
Larry Ellison thinks that it is important for people to come to their own conclusions about how the world works. Much of today’s morality and conventional wisdom is transient in nature. It is hard for people to imagine a world where thinking is much different than it is today. Ellison points out that only 200 years ago slavery was acceptable within conventional wisdom. People should not accept the status quo because it is the status quo. People should accept or reject the status quo after examining the moral principles and assumptions those ideas are based on.
Do not be afraid to step on people’s toes
“My job, is to build better than the competition, sell those products in the marketplace, and eventually supplant Microsoft and move from being number two to number one.”
Ellison is famous for being ruthless with his competition. His approach to his competitors came out of a trip he took to Japan during the early days of Oracle. During a meeting In Japanese executives explained that they were not satisfied unless they had 100 percent market share. Anything less meant that the competition was taking food out of their families’ mouths.
Don’t worry about what everybody says
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts”.
Oracle is famous for pioneering advancement in the now the now ubiquitous SQL database management software. SQL was created by IBM to but nobody at the company understood that it had the capacity to store and manage massive sets of data. Ellison saw the potential and used IBM’s basic concept to underpin Oracles first products.