The Co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation and one of the most influential people in the world, Bill Gates was born on October 28,1955 in Seattle, Washington. One of the most inspiring personalities in history, Bill Gates has had a life filled with successes. Here is everything that you ever wanted to know about the life and success of Bill Gates!
An American programmer, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft—the world’s premier software company. With an estimated net worth of $90.6 billion, Gates is the second richest man in the world. But, how did he build this wealth and what were the challenges he overcame to get there?
The Early Life of Bill Gates
While Bill Gates had to work hard to become what he is today, his story isn’t exactly a rags-to-riches one as he was born into a fairly wealthy family. His father was a successful attorney while his mother was a school teacher who went onto become a member of the Board of Directors of the First Interstate Bank. Gates was a bright student and performed well academically, especially in mathematics. And, this was exemplified by the 800 points that young Bill Gates scored in the mathematics part of an intelligence test.
Bill Gates developed a passion for computers and programming as early as 13. At the same age, Gates enrolled in the Lakeside School, a private preparatory school. While Gates was still at the school, the school administration decided to buy a computer from the General Electric Company. Seeing his flare in programming, the school administration excused Gates from classes to allow him to pursue his interest. On the GEC machine, Bill Gates built his first ever computer program.
At the school, Gates met Paul Allen and they worked together to find bugs in a system belonging to Computer Center Corporation. In exchange for computer time and royalties, Gates and Allen along with two other students wrote a payroll program for Information Sciences. This led to Gates’ school becoming fully aware of his talent and they had him a build a program that scheduled students in classes.
Gates and Allen continue to build softwares and at just the age of 15, Bill Gates sold a software to optimize traffic for $20,000. A few years later, he developed another software and earned $30,000 from it. And, this was the start of Bill Gates’ journey to a billion-dollar wealth.
The Establishment of Microsoft Corporation
In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded a software company and they named it Micro-Soft. Initially, the company delivered small software products to different firms. Since the company did not have enough finds to hire a sales manager, this function was performed by Mary Maxwell—mother of Bill Gates.
Not long after, Gates and Allen found that Microsoft had dropped to the lowest affordable point. The company was in financial crisis and this is mainly due to the use of some pirated software. However, the two owners did not lose hope and they launched MS-BASIC, which helped them to make a profit of $50,000.
In 1979, IBM—one of our American multinational tech companies, launched the world’s first personal computer and offered Microsoft to develop a program for it. However, at the time, the company did not have the resources to create an operating software (OS), and thus recommended another company Digital Research to IBM for building their OS.
A few months on, Microsoft bought an OS system called ’86-DOS’ and started to refine it on a large scale on a daily basis and this resulted in the launch of ‘MS-DOS’. Immediately after the launch, Microsoft offered IBM to use MS-DOS as the main operating software for their first ever personal computer that they were about to launch. The offer was promptly accepted by IBM and Microsoft was able to see-off competition from Digital Research—the company Gates and Allen had recommended to IBM for building their OS.
In 1980, Microsoft and IBM signed the contract and within a year Micro-Soft became Microsoft Corporation. At the same, IBM launched their first ever personal computer with MS-DOS and a few other Microsoft products such as MS-BASIC, MS-PASCAL, MS-COBOL and others. Accomplishments kept pouring in for the company founded by Bill Gates, with notable accomplishments including the invention of the first mouse for personal computer, and the development of Windows Operating System. In fact, the launch of Windows was what helped Gates to build the fortune he currently boasts.
Windows NT was the first Windows OS to be launched. This followed a series of Windows launches over the next few years including the launch of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, XP, and Vista.
Bill Gates Now
For a few years now, Gates has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of Microsoft and he has dedicated most of his time towards philanthropy and community projects. Bill Gates provides perspective on a range of issues and has co-founded The Giving Pledge—a foundation that encourages wealthy people to contribute a majority of their wealth towards philanthropic causes. At least $365 billion of giving has been pledged by 139 individuals, with a combined 2016 net worth of $731 billion. Bill Gates has pledged more than 80% of his wealth to charity upon death.
There are many lessons to learn from the life of Bill Gates including being focused on your goals and pursuing them persistently, building a great team, building partnership and thinking beyond oneself for the greater good of people. If you are inspired by the life and success story of Bill Gates, then we’d love to hear what about him or his life inspires you.
by Bobby J Davidson
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