In 1975, a young programmer named Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to form a company called Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Then no one could have imagined that the company would become a global business flagship, and that Bill himself would become one of the richest people in the world.
Bill Gates has a lot of dark spots in his past. How did a troubled teenager co-found the largest software corporation? Perhaps this is what made him capable of such aggressive business tactics?
Who is Bill Gates?
Born William Henry Gates III on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. His family was prosperous and not at all poor. In addition to Bill, his parents had two more girls: the older Christian and the younger Libby. The Gates marriage was strong, the atmosphere in the family was the warmest. Children were brought up in the spirit of healthy competition and endless striving for perfection. As a child, Bill showed an interest in board logic games, especially Monopoly, where he almost always won.
Gates had a particularly close relationship with his mother, Mary. No wonder the woman gave up her career to devote herself entirely to children. She was also involved in social activities and paid much attention to charity. Mary has served on several corporate boards, including the First Interstate Bank in Seattle (founded by her grandfather), United Way, and International Business Machines (IBM). She often took Bill with her when she volunteered for schools and community organizations. The boy is used to being with his mother all the time. He loved and respected her very much, almost idolizing her.
As a child, Bill Gates loved to read. He spent long hours doing this. Most of all he liked reference books and encyclopedias. One day, he simply amazed everyone around him with his intellect. Bill was a Sunday school student whose teacher was a certain Reverend Dale Turner. He encouraged his students to memorize chapters 5–7 of Matthew, also known as the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ.
The teacher promised those who learn to treat them to dinner at a restaurant. Everyone more or less managed and deserved dinner. When it was Gates’ turn, Reverend Turner was truly stunned. The boy gave out the entire text, about 2000 words long, without a single mistake or hitch.
As a teenager, the boy began to show all the signs of bad behavior, lost interest in learning. He seemed very bored and withdrawn, it was impossible to get through to him. His grades were good, but no desire to achieve something more. His parents feared that he might become completely lonely.
Despite their faith in the public education system, they transferred their son to Seattle’s exclusive Lakeside Preparatory School. There he revived. Bill excelled, especially in math and science. The boy was excellent in English and literature.
While studying at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company invited students to spend time at the computer. The Mothers’ Club used the proceeds from the school sale to buy a teletype terminal for students. Gates was fascinated by what a computer could do. He devoted all his free time to working with the terminal. Gates even wrote a special program for playing tic-tac-toe in the BASIC computer language. It allowed users to play against the computer.
At school, Gates met Allen. He was two years older. They became friends very quickly. Their rapprochement was facilitated by a common passion. Both were simply crazy about computers. Their characters were very different. Allen was calm and reserved, while Gates, on the contrary, was brash and aggressive.
The guys spent a lot of time writing programs together. They quarreled often, but they could not live without each other. Both in joy and in sorrow, as they say. Together they hacked into the server of one computer company, together, they fixed everything. They wrote a program, they were able to earn $20,000 on it.
Bill graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. On the college SAT, he scored a record-breaking 1,590 out of 1,600. This can be called a real feat of intellectual achievement. For a long time, Gates bragged about these results to everyone he met. Bill entered Harvard without any problems, preparing, at the insistence of his parents, to pursue a career in law.
True, he was not very interested in studying. He passed the necessary tests, but he tried to spend all the time in a computer class. Much to the dismay of his father and mother, Gates dropped out of college in 1975 to go into business with his friend Allen. Together they worked until 1983. Then Allen left. Officially, this happened due to the fact that he was diagnosed with cancer and needed intensive treatment. But when he retired, the disease was in remission, and this gave rise to a lot of gossip.
The legendary Windows software was born out of a rivalry with Steve Jobs and his Apple company. They released an innovative software interface at the time. Gates said that they would soon develop a new operating system that would revolutionize the world of software products. It was pure bluff, but just the perfect marketing ploy.
Everyone began to expect the Windows promised by Gates, and other products were not interesting. The software product strongly resembled Apple developments. They even sued but lost. Gates was passionate and not afraid to take risks. Rough competition and competitive spirit gave him an indescribable sense of drive. He even slept at work.
Through technological innovation, a sound business strategy, and aggressive business tactics, Microsoft’s software company has become the largest in this field. In the process of all this, Bill Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
Gates’ intelligence allowed him to see and accurately evaluate all aspects of the software industry, from product development to corporate strategy. He analyzed an infinite number of options for the development of the situation. He always had an answer for everything.
Being so dedicated to his work himself, Bill expected the same from others. The unusual style of managing the company has become a legend in business circles. He liked to challenge employees to stimulate the creative process.
In February 2014, he decided to step down as chairman of Microsoft and follow in his adoring mother’s footsteps by focusing entirely on philanthropy.
In 1987, Bill in his native company met a girl who became his chosen one and subsequently gave birth to three children. Her name was Melinda French, she was a Microsoft product manager. They lived together for 27 years. Unfortunately, they divorced in May 2021. The couple has a joint charitable foundation, together they are now running his business.
Gates invested a lot of money in the study of Alzheimer’s disease, supported the education and healthcare sectors. The foundation helps low-income people around the world. The organization also deals with internal issues, for example, helping students in the United States prepare for college.
Bill Gates has repeatedly made statements that the world is not ready for the next pandemic. His predictions came true – the coronavirus appeared. The Bill & Melinda Foundation has teamed up with the Wellcome Trust and Mastercard to help contain the spread of the virus. Subsequently, the former head of Microsoft announced that his fund was ready to invest billions of dollars in the construction of factories intended for the development of a vaccine. He believes that the virus can be defeated.
Bill Gates is one of the richest people of our time, but there was a man in history whose wealth is incomparable to the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation.