This week, another installment in a series of posts I’m calling the “Paradox of the Week.”[*]

So recently, I took Steve Jobs to task for contradictory statements he’d made in an interview back in 1995. This week, I thought I’d even things out a bit by offering one such example from Bill Gates, another pioneer of the personal computer revolution.

In Business at the Speed of Thought (1999, Warner Books), the former CEO of Microsoft, visionary computer programmer, and philanthropist offers the following thoughts concerning the workplace of the future (p. 39):

“The all-digital workplace is usually called ‘the paperless office.’ … It’s a great vision.”

He adds:

“No more stacks of paper… No more pawing through piles of books…”

However, Gates later has this to say (p. 53):

“I am against paper forms, but even I still print out long electronic documents I want to read and annotate. Most people, when they’re trying to organize a long document, like to spread out pages on a table—hard to do with a PC!”

And then (next page):

“…books and magazines still can’t be beat for readability and portability.”


See you next week.



[*]An example of a business or management “expert” offering paradoxical advice, or otherwise making contradictory statements, typically without any apparent awareness of having done so. For more on why this makes such advice absolutely worthless to the practicing or aspiring manager, please see the posts “Why you can throw out that management advice book” (Parts 1, 2 & 3).