Anybody with a personal computer knows who Bill Gates is. In just three decades, Gates has revolutionized how the computer is used through his multibillion dollar Microsoft company. Ranked the richest person on the planet with $77.2 billion to his name, Bill has definitely made it in life.
His enormous success can be attributed to his genius and business savvy persona despite accusations that he adopts quite aggressive and anti-competitive methods.
Gates had a decent childhood and his parents wanted him to become a lawyer. As a teenager, he developed an interest in programming. He got into constant trouble with the Computer Center Corporation for manipulating the institution’s computers to get more time. It was here that his fascination with computers developed and together with his mates: Paul Allen, Ric Weiland and Kent Evans, offered to find and fix bugs in CCC’s software so that they could get more computer use time.
His talent didn’t go unobserved. When CCC went out of business, Information Sciences, Inc. employed Gates and his partners to write a program and for that they got more computer time and royalties for the use of the program. He went on to forge a partnership with Allen when he was 17 and their first venture was called Traf-O-Data that made traffic counters. His love of computers and relationship with Allen led to the formation of the soon to be industry giant Microsoft.
Gates’ time in College was also occupied by computers. He got into Harvard with an amazingly high SAT score and it was while here that he developed a solution for a problem posed by one of his professors. This solution went on to hold the record as the fastest version for three decades. With his parents’ approval, Bill dropped out of school to capitalize on the release of the MITS Altair 8800 by starting a computer software company with Allen.
Bill and Allen’s partnership was named “Micro-Soft” and its first headquarters was in Albuquerque where they had been working at MITS. They later dropped the hyphen and Microsoft was in the State of New Mexico in 1976. The company’s BASIC program was so popular with computer hobbyists that it was being widely copied and distributed. It was at this moment that Bill started advocating for software developers to get paid for their products. Despite the unpopularity of this view, Bill held on to this belief.
Bill Gates took complete charge of Microsoft’s business details during the company’s initial years. For three decades, he had primary responsibility for Microsoft’s company strategy and it is through this that he took the approach of broadening the company’s range of products. He is credited with making the personal computer truly personal as it was initially out of the reach of the average person. With a global customer base of over 1 billion users, Bill has become one of the biggest success stories of recent times.