young bill gates 1992A photo of Bill Gates from 1992.AP Photo

  • Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and other leaders have been asked the same question in interviews time and time again: “What advice would you give to your younger self?”
  • Business Insider has gathered our favorite quotes from successful leaders, pulled from interviews conducted over the years and quotes compiled by a marketing campaign from the company AdView.

The people we’ve come to associate with the most successful technology companies were once relatively unknown names with big dreams. So if they could do it all over again, would they do it any differently?

The answer to this commonly-asked interview question tells us what we want to learn from the people who have, in our eyes, “made it.” And leaders in the tech industry are successful because they created something — or saw potential in something — in a way that no one else did. The advice they would give their younger selves, then, is often informative and motivational. 

Digital advertising company AdView compiled quotes from across the internet to create these inspirational posters for a series called “What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?” We found our favorites and pulled a few others from various interviews over the years from the leaders and executives at companies like Apple, Facebook, Intel, Pandora, Airbnb, and more.

Here’s the advice these 16 leaders in the tech industry told interviewers they would tell their younger selves: