Hugh Pickens writes "Bill Gates, in a interview with the BBC, revealed the secret of Microsoft's success: 'Most of our competitors were very poorly run. They did not understand how to bring in people with business experience and people with engineering experience and put them together,' said Gates. 'They did not think about software in this broad way. They did not think about tools or efficiency. They would therefore do one product, but would not renew it to get it to the next generation.' Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Corporation, has a different view: 'Claims by Microsoft that people were buying the software because it was good are pretty self-serving. I'd like to smoke what he's smoking.' Gates also said that he took a 'conservative balance sheet approach' to running Microsoft explaining that he wanted 'great financial strength so we would have the flexibility to do software in the new way, or whatever we wanted to do.'"