Bill Gates doesn’t do a timesheet

Bill Gates doesn’t believe he sells time, thus there’s no need for him to maintain a timesheet. The two go hand and hand.

This is why I was so amazed by Evan Chesler’s opening statement in his Forbes article on the billable hour:

I’m a trial lawyer. I bill by the hour. So do the associates who work for me.

If you were to ask any other CEO to define themselves, or their company, I doubt you’d hear that sentiment.

Jay Shepherd, one of our Trailblazers and a great thinker, has a fantastic post on this today over at Client Revolution, “What if Google billed by the hour?”

Note that Google allows its employees 20% “Google time” to innovate new ideas, services, etc., for its customers. How many professional firms would do that in a billable hour environment?

Is it any wonder that PKFs are not hot beds of innovation?


  1. Matthew Tol says:

    Similarly, if Google billed by the hour, they would have placed a limit on their earning capacity – y staff by z hours by f% productivity = maximum earnings potential.

    $22bn in 10 years – not bad.

    Imagine if the lawyers had been running it – they would have now moved out of the garage in to a small suburban office and had a pile of agreements which took a heap of time to do. They would have also run out of funds and gone broke. Now that’s progress…

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