40 Most Inspirational Larry Ellison Quotes For Entrepreneurs

Lawrence Joseph Ellison,  born on 17th August 1944, is an American entrepreneur and businessman who is the co-founder and the CEO of Oracle Corporation, a Silicon Valley software company. As of April 2021, Larry was listed as the ninth wealthiest person in the U.S. and the tenth wealthiest in the world. His fortune is around $93.9 billion and increased from $57.3 billion in 2018. Larry Ellison is also the owner of Lanai, the 41st largest island in America in the Hawaiian island and the population is just over 3000.

Ellison was born in New York City to a Jewish mother while his biological father was an Italian-American and worked as the United-States Army Air Corps pilot. At the age of nine months, Larry contracted pneumonia and his mother gave him up to her uncle and aunt for adoption. He later met her mother again when he was 48 years old.

Larry attended the University of Illinois in 1962 but dropped in 1964 after his adoptive mother died. He then attended the University of Chicago briefly in 1966. He went to California and worked as a computer programmer for several years. Ellison worked with various software developing companies and this was the catalyst for being the founder of Oracle Corporation. He has been the CEO of Oracle since it began in September 2014 when he stepped down as the CEO, but he remained involved with the company and serves as the chief technology officer and the executive chairman. Larry Ellison’s words of advice have inspired many entrepreneurs around the world and you too can be inspired to make your dreams a reality.

Larry Ellison Quotes

1. “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.”– Larry Ellison

2. “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

3. “When you are the first person whose beliefs are different from what everyone else believes, you are basically saying, ‘I’m right and everyone else is wrong.’ That’s a very unpleasant position to be in. It’s at once exhilaration and the same time an invitation to be attacked.”– Larry Ellison

4. “In order to grow at this pace, there will have to be a couple of acquisitions along the way. The tricky thing is to grow at this rate and maintain a 40 percent operating margin.”– Larry Ellison

5. “In some ways, getting away from the headquarters and having a little time to reflect allows you to find errors in your strategy. You get to rethink things. Often, that helps me correct a mistake that I made or someone else is about to make.”– Larry Ellison

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6. “We think we’re going to be especially strong in platform where we have our two platform brands: our database brand is the Oracle Database 12c, and our programming language brand is this thing called Java.”– Larry Ellison

7. “Lanai at one time grew 98% of the world’s pineapples. But the world’s pineapples are now grown in two places, Costa Rica and Panama, because no one wants to spend $45 for a pineapple from the United States.”– Larry Ellison

8. “I started NetSuite. NetSuite was my idea. I called up Evan Goldberg and said, ‘We’re going to do ERP on the Internet, software-as-a-service.’ Six months later Marc Benioff, finding out what NetSuite was doing, and kind of copied it.”– Larry Ellison

9. “My favorite museums are things like the Frick Museum in New York and the Huntington Hartford in Pasadena where it’s someone’s home that you walk through.”– Larry Ellison

10. “We saw – we conducted the experiment. I mean, it’s been done. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. We saw Apple without Steve Jobs. We saw Apple with Steve Jobs. Now, we’re gonna see Apple without Steve Jobs.”– Larry Ellison

11. “I’m addicted to winning. The more you win, the more you want to win.”– Larry Ellison

12. “To model yourself after Steve Jobs is like, I’d like to paint like Picasso, what should I do? Should I use more red?”– Larry Ellison

13. “All you can do is every day, try to solve a problem and make your company better. You can’t worry about it, you can’t panic when you look at the stock market’s decline. You get frozen like a deer in the headlights. All you can do is all you can do.”– Larry Ellison

14. “When you live your life in different ways, it makes people around you become uncomfortable. So deal with it. They don’t know what you are going to do.”– Larry Ellison

15. “When I started Oracle, what I wanted to do was to create an environment where I would enjoy working. That was my primary goal. Sure, I wanted to make a living. I certainly never expected to become rich, certainly not this rich. I mean, rich does not even describe this. This is surreal. And it has nothing to do with money. I mean, you buy clothes with money, and cars. But I really wanted to work with people I enjoyed working with, who I admired and liked.”– Larry Ellison

16. “Bill Gates wants people to think he’s Edison, when he’s really Rockefeller. Referring to Gates as the smartest man in America isn’t right… wealth isn’t the same thing as intelligence.”– Larry Ellison

17. ” I think I am very goal orientated. I’d like to win the America’s cup. I’d like Oracle to be the number 1 software company in the world. I still think it is possible to beat Microsoft.”– Larry Ellison

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18. “Because software is all about scale. The larger you are, the more profitable you are. If we sell twice as much as software, it doesn’t cost us twice as much to build that software. So the more customers you have, the more scale you have. The larger you are, the more profitable you are.”– Larry Ellison

19. “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.”– Larry Ellison

20. “The things that caused problems for me in school are the same things that help me succeed in the world.”– Larry Ellison

21. “Both my mother and I were determined that we weren’t going to stay on welfare. We always worked toward doing better, toward having a better life. We never had any doubts that we would”– Larry Ellison

22. “So what makes me happy? I was really happy to build this house. That’s it; building things. The trouble with software is that it’s very hard to show your aunt in Florida what you’ve done.”– Larry Ellison

23. “When I do something, it is all about self-discovery. I want to learn and discover my own limits.”– Larry Ellison

24 “See things in the present, even if they are in the future.”– Larry Ellison

25. “When you write a program for Android, you use the Oracle Java tools for everything and at the very end, you push a button and say convert this.”– Larry Ellison

26. “When you’re the first whose beliefs are different you’re saying, I’m right and everyone else is wrong.”– Larry Ellison

27. “People really criticize professional athletes going into the Olympics. People don’t like change. A bunch of people don’t like the Olympics now because we’ve added skateboarding… We’re modernizing the sport.”– Larry Ellison

28. “I wish HP nothing but the best. I think HP is an icon. Those of us who had their careers in the Valley think of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett as role models. We would love to be half as good as they were.”– Larry Ellison

29. “We have an ideal location for a couple of organic wineries on the island. But the reintroduction of commercial agriculture to Lanai is 100% dependent upon increasing the available water on the island. So we’re going to use solar energy to convert seawater to fresh water.”– Larry Ellison

30. “There’s a wonderful saying that’s dead wrong. ‘Why did you climb the mountain?’ ‘I climbed the mountain because it was there.’ That’s utter nonsense…You climbed the mountain because you were there, and you were curious if you could do it. You wondered what it would be like.”– Larry Ellison

31. “You realize that life is short and fragile; and when you are facing walls of water, you understand your own mortality can change and how quickly things could change.”– Larry Ellison

32. “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Sure, there’s the talent, but they’re also has to be the will. Give me the human will and the intense desire to win and it will trump talent every day of the week.”– Larry Ellison

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33. “When people start telling you that you’re crazy, you just might be on to the most important innovation in your life.”– Larry Ellison

34. “If you do everything that everyone else does in business, you’re going to lose. The only way to really be ahead, is to ‘be different.”– Larry Ellison

35. “Taking care of your employees is extremely important and very, very visible.”– Larry Ellison

36. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”– Larry Ellison

37. “All you can do is every day, try to solve a problem and make your company better.”– Larry Ellison

38. “A corporation’s primary goal is to make money. Government’s primary role is to take a big chunk of that money and give to others.”– Larry Ellison

39. “I have had all the disadvantages required for success.”– Larry Ellison

40. “It’s Microsoft versus mankind, with Microsoft having only a slight lead.”– Larry Ellison

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Video: Larry Ellison – Billionaire Samurai Warrior of Silicon Valley

This is a good short overview of how Larry emerged to be the pivotal figure in silicon valley that he remains today.

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Larry Ellison’s journey to success has not been a smooth path. He has suffered a lot from contracting pneumonia when he was nine months and being given up for adoption to losing his adoptive mother later. At one point Larry dropped out of University due to hardships but this did not deter him from pursuing his dreams. He started from rags to riches and he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs you will ever know. If you need inspiration and enlightenment about your entrepreneurial dreams, reading through the above quote about Larry Ellison will be very beneficial.

Image Credit: “Larry Ellison” by Oracle PR is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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