Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft, the company which created the Windows operating system. He is credited as an entrepreneur who revolutionized the computer industry. He is consistently the richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $90 billion in 2016.
A Short Biography
From a very young age, Gates was fascinated by computers. In the eighth grade, he already showed an unusual interest in computers and even skipped his Math class to pursue programming.
He went to Harvard College after scoring 1590 out of 1600 on the SATs. However, at Harvard, rather than studying, he spent most of his time in front of computers. In 1975, he dropped out of college and started Microsoft.
At his new company, Gates developed the program BASIC which was popular with many computer hobbyists but stopped its development because of widespread piracy of his product.
The breakthrough for Microsoft came when IBM approached Gates to develop software for their systems. Eventually, Gates created the MS-DOS program for IBM. This was the beginning of the rise of Microsoft. From there his company created and launched a retail version of Windows, which quickly became the most-used operating system for home computers.
In 2006, Gates announced that he would step down from his day-to-day duties at Microsoft to focus full-time on philanthropy. Together with his wife, he set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has so far donated over $28 billion to charitable causes.
Time Magazine named Gates as one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century.
- Years and years of hard work precede success
Many of us, hearing that Gates started Microsoft out of his garage, would be inclined to think he was a kid with no prior knowledge who managed to start a multi-billion dollar business from those little experiments.
But the truth is Gates had considerable experience with programming and coding before starting Microsoft. It was his vast knowledge gleaned from years and years of hard work that allowed him to build the MS-DOS software that launched Microsoft on its upward trajectory.
Before we start believing that overnight successes are possible, remember that even the richest man in the world got there through countless hours of hard work!
- Follow your passion
Gates didn’t work hard in programming because he was hungry to become a millionaire. He worked hard because he was passionate about what he was doing.
He found programming software fascinating. That passion motivated him to do it long after school hours. He even skipped some classes so that he could code! These many hours of coding gave him the knowledge and experience he needed to start Microsoft.
If you want to become successful like Bill Gates, don’t chase money. Don’t pursue opportunity after opportunity, searching for the million-dollar idea. You will lose focus on what you want for your life and set yourself up for failure.
The truth is, money is abundant, and there are many ways to become wealthy. Passion for what you do will sustain you when things get tough and give you long-term motivation to achieve success.
- Give back
Giving back to the community is a reflection of your character. Are you a giver or a taker? The attitude you adopt will determine if you become a person of success or a person of significance. There are a lot of people who are financially successful, but only a few names are remembered. The ones we remember are those who have made a difference in the world that we live in.
To become a leader people admire and respect, you must become a person of significance. People don’t follow you because you take from them; they follow you because you give to them. Strive to live a life that creates a difference in this world; gives back more than you take, and you can look back at a true success.
Quotes from Bill Gates
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”
“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”
“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”