How does one become the richest in America, the richest in the world and that too without having to go to college ever? Seriously! Is this a joke? You must be thinking to yourself. Nope. In order to make that happen you will have to think and act like Bill (William) Gates, the founder of Microsoft. He who is so rich that even if he spends a million a day his fortunes will last for 218 years.
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington on October 28, 1955. His father William H. Gates was a successful lawyer. Mary Maxwell Gates was an accomplished businesswoman. He has two sisters Kristi and Libby. As a kid William Gates III was known as Trey. Bill was extremely competitive, and his family encouraged it. He loved math and board games. Risk was his favorite board game. Although a good student, school bored him at times, and he got in trouble a lot. Doesn’t that sound like most of you guys – the future billionaires?
When he was 13, his parents moved him to Seattle’s Lakeside School where he excelled in all subjects. It was here that Bill got introduced to computers. He was completely fascinated and hooked on to the computer. The first computer program that he ever wrote was a tic-tac-toe in BASIC language. Bill never looked back. Gates befriended Paul Allen, who was as smitten by computers as Gates. Once they got caught exploiting the bugs in the software program to get more free time and were banned from using the facility’s computer. Later they offered to debug the program to get some more computer time.
At the age of 15, Bill Gates was a businessman. He and Paul Allen created a software called “Traf- o-data” , which monitored traffic patterns in Seattle. Bill wanted to be an entrepreneur but his father wanted him to finish college and become a lawyer.
Gates enrolled in fall 1973 at Harvard after scoring a 1590 SAT score. He and Paul Allen got to know about a new compact computer kit Altair 8800 designed by a company called MITS. The boys were delirious with joy because they thought this computer could be a personal computer. Everyone can own a personal computer. Of course, the people would need a software to run it. They contacted the company and asked them if they were interested a software. The company said yes, but funnily Bill and Paul had not a single line of code yet. They worked day and night to write the code in BASIC and presented it to the company. Voila! It just ran wonderfully. Gates left Harvard shortly and set up MicroSoft with Paul Allen.
By the end of 1978, Microsoft was writing code for different companies. Bill Gates, 23 yrs old, placed himself as the head of Microsoft which made $2.5 million that year.
Not only was Gates an excellent developer, but also a shrewd businessman. He kept abreast with the market developments and adapted his products according to that. In 1985, Microsoft launched Windows, and its growth exploded. Gates became a billionaire at the age of 31.
Today Bill Gates is a kind and generous person that gives back to the community (Philanthropist) by donating millions to the non-profit organisations that work for the good of the people.
He stepped down from the post of Microsoft chairman in Feb, 2014. He remains the technology advisor of Microsoft.
For more information check out the lesser known facts about Gates.