Bill Gates is a name that has become synonymous with innovation and revolution. Ultimately, he has changed the world of technology forever.
From his early childhood as a young and curious programmer, to his meteoric rise to the top of the tech industry. Join me as we uncover the story of Bill Gates.
Bill Gates Childhood
Born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, into a wealthy family. His father William Gates Sr. was a prominent lawyer and his mother Mary Gates was on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem. He certainly had a privileged upbringing.
Studying at the private Lakeside elite school, this is when Bill was first introduced to computers. At first sight, he showed immediate interest in these primitive machines.
At age 13 he wrote his first computer program in the form of a video game version of tic-tac-toe. It was around this time that he met future Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Later on, in high school, he would automate the school’s scheduling system with Kent Evans. Sadly, Evans was killed in a hiking accident before they could finish it. Troubled by the incident, Bill turned to Paul Allen to help finish it.
Then At age 17, Gates and Allen formed a company called Traf-O-Data, which designed and built traffic counters using the Intel 8008 processor. This netted Gates an impressive $20,000.
Ultimately, this was just the beginning of Bill and Allen’s collaboration, and the two young entrepreneurs had bigger plans on the horizon.
Although Bill was bullied as a kid due to his short height.
He would later describe his childhood as being a loving one. The family was close nit and his parents often pushed their children to strive for excellence.
After graduating high school in 1973, Bill would go on to attend Harvard University scoring 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT. At first, his career choice was to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer.
But doubts started to enter Bill’s mind as his interest in computers continued to develop. While at Harvard, Bill would meet future Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
However, his stint at Harvard University was short-lived and he would drop out in 1975 to pursue his business venture in the form of Microsoft.
Both Gates and Allen would develop their first product which was an adaption of the programming language BASIC primarily used by large computers for the Altair 8800, a popular microcomputer at the time.
This marked the start of a journey that would turn Microsoft into the world’s largest personal computer software company. By 1978 the company’s sales were over $1 million and this spurred their move to Bellevue, Washington.
It was at this point that the company struck gold with a huge IBM deal. IBM approached Microsoft in 1980 as they wanted an operating system for their new personal computer known as the IBM PC.
Ultimately, both Bill and Paul Allen would adapt the 86-DOS to the MS-DOS operating system and later deliver it to IBM for just $50,000. Although a small fee, this contract catapulted Microsoft into the limelight and they received industry-wide recognition.
As more and more personal computers flooded the market they turned to Microsoft for their operating system and sales soared from $7.5 million in 1980 to $16 million in 1981.
Unfortunately, in 1983 Allen would be diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma leading him to depart. Although successfully treated he would not return to Microsoft and instead pursue other business ventures.
Next, 1985 comes and Microsoft first released it’s windows operating system. A brand new graphically based user interface with various drop downs and scroll bars, it took the world by storm.
Following its success, the company went public in 1986 raising an impressive $61 million. By age 31, Bill Gates became a billionaire. Throughout the following decades, Microsoft continued to grow exponentially.
By 1999 Microsoft had annual sales of $19.7 billion while Bill Gates amassed a whopping $90 billion. Microsoft was an absolute behemoth at this point with 95% of PCs having windows installed.
Post Microsoft Career
Seemingly at the top of the world from Microsoft’s success in the year 2000, Bill Gates would step down as CEO of Microsoft and passed the torch onto Steve Ballmer.
From this point onwards Bill would stay on the board of directors for Microsoft but instead focus on his philanthropic endeavors in the form of the Bill & Melinda foundation.
Bill and his wife Melinda were focused on improving global health and education. Donating over $36 billion they have committed to fighting against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases.
In the following decades, Bill would continue to become less involved with Microsoft and end his career in march 2020 by resigning from the board of directors.
Now Bill Gate’s main focus is on his family and philanthropy.
If you want to view this article in a more visual format then please check out my video below:
So as you can see, the life of Bill Gates has been one of exceptional achievements. From his humble beginnings as a young programmer to his current status as a tech industry icon and philanthropist, Gates has made a lasting impact on the world of technology and beyond.
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