“Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure” — Larry Ellison
Oracle is one of the world’s most successful tech companies, and as its co-founder, Larry Ellison is known to be one of the most revered personalities in the field. Born in New York City in August 1944, the 75-year-old is a college-dropout-turned-billionaire who is also believed to have inspired Robert Downey Junior’s performance as Iron Man.
Known as the “flamboyant billionaire,” Ellison has always been interested in new computer design systems and moved to California from Chicago to hunt for success. He started by developing databases for the CIA and later formed his own firm after creating Oracle’s database. In April 2018, Ellison’s net worth was estimated by Forbes to be at $56.1 billion. He is a man who has influenced the tech industry the most and arrived on the scene even before the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others. The man doesn’t even care in supporting President Donald Trump, something big-tech moguls from Silicon Valley generally decide against, but that is all about Ellison’s uniqueness. One of the reasons why Ellison became successful in life is his unconventional way of looking at things.
Here are five things that you can learn from Ellison as an aspiring business leader to scale the heights:
1. Do not remain a blind believer in conventions:
Ellison firmly believes that to become successful in life and career, one need not just remain glued to the conventional ways of doing things. He doesn’t care about reinventing the wheel every time but judges everything from his standpoint. Ellison dropped out of school twice since he disliked formal school education and did not want to see himself fitted into the mold. He also dropped out of the university but never lost interest in learning about computer designing until he hit the bull’s eye. The man admires Israel, not because of any religious reason but for its innovative spirit in technology. There’s another way to lead with creative thinking.
2. Focus on the right product and its greatness:
Potentially, you may be the most talented and hard-working businessperson around, but the surest mantra to success is neither of the two. Taking a leaf out of Ellison’s page, one should know that Oracle employs only the best engineers in the world picked from the best products. Under Ellison, Oracle believed in attracting the best of talents who would do the real work of upgrading the software, which would do the job of those in sales and marketing. The thing to learn from here is that making the right investments behind the right resources and the rest will fall in place. It is not that marketing and promotion are not essential, but the message is that if the product you are offering is a quality one from scratch (like right ingredients always produce good food, makes the work of the cook easier), you win half the battle. In the past, Oracle has spent a whopping $3 billion on software engineering and firmly believes this investment is the one that works. A great product will automatically make your customer loyal and robust.
3. Executing the ideas smartly:
When you plan to bring out a product, remember that you are not doing it for the first time (unless, of course, you are inventing something like the wheel). So, the factor that will make the difference between a successful and not-successful businessperson does not have ideas but how to execute them. Like it is said, Henry Ford did not invent cars, but he made them cheaper and hence popular with America’s people. Ellison is another master in this skill. He has established himself as somebody different from the rest by executing ideas better than anybody else. He did not invent his database business, but it was IBM that made this. But it was Ellison who went to the top by utilizing the same concept. It is very important hence is to have a thinking brain and the will to do things innovatively.
4. Win and win more till you make it a habit:
Ellison once said that he is addicted to winning. “The more you win, the more you want to win.” The man’s ruthless killer instinct is also evident from the fact that he was influenced by Genghis Khan, who wanted to emerge victorious at others’ expense. Even money doesn’t matter as big for Ellison as to end first in the competition.
On another occasion, he famously said: “Being first is more important to me [than earning money]. I have so much money. Whatever money is, it’s just a method of keeping score now. I mean, I certainly don’t need more money.”
The man’s hunger is also defined by his endless urge to test the limits. He said he is continuously learning (the man loves to read, and it is no surprise) to contribute to making the world a different place, even by a bit, and leaving a positive impact on people’s lives. He is also on the hunt to see what his limits are. This perfect blending of a hungry mind and self-assessment urge makes Ellison a great role model for aspiring entrepreneurs. It would be best if you tried to make the zenith faster than others but not without a self-assessment.
5. Never stop growing:
Ellison is a character who never stops believing in growing, forget retiring. The man served as the CEO of Oracle till he was over 70, and there was simply no end to the man’s steam. He is currently a member of Tesla’s board of directors — a post he took over in December 2018. The same year, the man launched yet another start-up — Sensei, which focuses on automated and hydroponic indoor food production. During his days in Oracle, Ellison continued to make forays into new grounds, stressing that there is simply no alternative to reinventing oneself. All those who look forward to making a career in business worth remembering are the qualities to learn to make progress in life.