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What comes to your mind when asked about Bill Gates? One of the wealthiest men in the top 10 list of Billionaires, the co-founder of Microsoft, and a successful American businessman. He is known by many in the world as a self-made billionaire

What is Bill Gates story? Although it is not a story of poverty to the rich, it is definitely a story of hard work and attempts. The passion he had for computers and programming made him work on it and reach his success. 

So let us see how his journey was and how he became a self-made billionaire. 

Who is Bill Gates? 

The Bill Gates story of success

He is an entrepreneur, programmer, investor, and philanthropist. He along with his partner Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft which became the No.1 software company in the world. Bill Gates net worth in 2022 is 111.8 billion USD. He was the CEO of Microsoft company until January 2000, and with keen business strategy, business tactics, and technological innovation, he was able to make it the world’s largest software business and became one of the richest men in the world. 

He has taken a less demanding role in the company, as he focuses a lot of time on the charitable work at his foundation named the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. 

Early life

Bill Gates, fully known as William Henry Gates III, was born in Seattle, Washington. Bill Gates’s story starts on the 28th of October 1955, as it was the day he was born.  He was raised in an upper-middle-class family with his elder sister Kristianne and younger sister, Libby. His father H.Gates Sr. was a local lawyer, and his mother was active on a slew of local boards and banks. 

He had a very close relationship with his mother who devoted her time to help raise the children. She often takes Gates along when she volunteered in schools and at community organizations. 

When he was age 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School a private preparatory school. As a young child, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and enter law. But this ambition changed when he got exposure to computing. 

Bill Gates was small for his age and was short in height. So he was bullied by many for his height. He was bullied subsequently and this helped him to lead to his success. He had very high intelligence which flowed from his above-average IQ. 

He was a good reader and spent more hours finding books such as encyclopedias. When he was at the age of 11, his parents began to have concerns about his behavior. Even though he was doing well in school, it seemed that he was bored and withdrawn at times. 

His education 

He was interested in Programming the General Electric system in Basic. He showed early signs of competitiveness and striving for excellence. He began to write programs in various computing languages and worked with his friends to expand his knowledge of how computers worked. 

He was good at playing board games and excelled at Monopoly. Bill Gates met Paul Allen at school and they worked together to find bugs in the PDP-10 system which belonged to Computer Center Corporation. 

Bill Gates along with Paul and another two students wrote a payroll program for information sciences in exchange for computer time and royalties. His whole school was aware of his programming skills and he created a program to schedule students in class. 

His first business venture was when he was only 17 and it was called Traf-O-data to make traffic counters based on Intel 8008 processors. He worked with his friend to start a company. He enrolled at Harvard in 1973 and met Steve Ballmer. There he spent a lot of time using computers and he dropped out of Harvard after two years and never earned his degree from the school. 

In 1975 the MITS Altair 8800 based on Intel’s 8080 CPU was released and so Bill Gates and Paul Allen saw this as an opportunity to start their own software company. 

The business with Paul Allen

Bill Gates and Paul Allen

Allen went to Washington State University, while Gates went to Harvard. Both were in touch although they were in different universities. Allen dropped out of college and moved to Boston, Massachusetts to work for Honeywell. And he showed Gates an edition of Popular Electronics magazine featuring an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit.

A small company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) made the Altair and so both Gates and Paul contacted the company declaring that they were working on a BASIC software program that would run the Altair computer, but in reality, they didn’t have it. 

They both were asked for a demonstration by the company and so they spent the next two months writing the software at Harvard’s computer lab. Allen traveled to Albuquerque for a test at MITS and it worked perfectly. He was hired at MITS and so Gates left Harvard to work with him. 

Bill Gates story of success

Founding of Microsoft

Both of them together founded Microsoft. The company’s first product was BASIC software that ran on the Altair computer. Initially, although the software obtained fees and royalties from the company, it was not going smoothly as it was not meeting their overhead.  Only about 10% of the people who used BASIC in the Altair computer had actually paid for it. 

It was actually popular with computer hobbyists and they obtained pre-market copies and re-produced and distributed them for free. And many personal computer enthusiasts were not in for money. It was easy for them to reproduce and distribute and share the software with friends and fellow computer enthusiasts. 

Bill Gates saw free reproduction and distribution as stealing. In February 1976, he wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists saying that usage of software and distribution without paying for it would prevent good software from being written. 

And he said that pirating software would discourage developers from investing time and money into creating quality software. It was actually unpopular with computer enthusiasts but Gates use the threat of innovation as a defense when faced with charges of unfair business practices.

Relationship between Bill gates and MITS president

Bill gates did not have a good relationship with MITS president Ed Roberts. He clashed with Roberts on software development and the direction of the business. And in 1977, Robert sold the MITS to another computer company and went back to Georgia to enter medical school and become a doctor. 

Bill Gates and the Altair computer

Both Bill Gates and Allen had to look for a new owner of MITS to hold onto the software rights they had developed. The software was written in different formats for other computer companies and in 1979, he moved the operation of the company to Bellevue, Washington. 

There were 25 employees who took responsibility for product development, operations, business development, and marketing. By 1979, the Microsoft company was grossing approximately $2.5 million. At the age of 23, he placed himself as the head of the company. 

He lead the company with a keen business sense and worked as a spokesperson. He personally reviewed the lines of code and rewrite them when he saw it to be neccessary. 

Microsoft and IBM

As the industry grew,  companies like IBM were developing hardware and components.  His mother Mary was highly respected and she was connected with the membership on several corporate boards.  And through her, Gates met the CEO of IBM. 

IBM was looking for software that would operate their upcoming personal computer and so approached Microsoft.  At the first meeting with Gates,  he was mistaken for an office assistant and was asked to serve coffee.

And Gates was looking very young.  He impressed  IBM  by promising that he and his company would meet the requirements.  

Microsoft was approved by IBM to write a basic interpreter for the new IBM PC.  It was actually referred to as digital research by Gates. The IBM representative spoke with Bill Gates and proposed to use 86-DOS owned by SCP,  which is an operating system similar to the PC.

How Bill gates become successful?

But they had not developed the basic operating system that would run the IBM’s new computer. So a deal was made by Microsoft with SCP to become an exclusive licensing agent and later a full owner of 86-DOS.  The operating system for the PC was adapted and Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC DOS in exchange for a one-time fee.  

The sales  made Microsoft a major player in the industry, where the press  identified Microsoft to be very influential on the new computers,  and it was recognized as “Gates Computer”. 

It launched the first retail version of Microsoft Windows on 20th November 1985 and struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system.  Both of them developed the first version of the new system successfully but due to creative differences, the partnership deteriorated between Microsoft and IBM.

Beginning with the first idea Microsoft has been growing ever since and the software and Hardware products expanded from  Windows OS, office suits,  Office 365,  Xbox, Bing, Hotmail, and more.  

They also released a software called Soft card that allowed Microsoft BASIC to operate on Apple II  machines.  The number of staff increased from 25 to 128,  and revenue increased from $2.5 million to $16 million. 

By 1983,  it was going global with offices in Great Britain and Japan and an estimated 30% of the world’s computers ran on its software. And so it had domination over the Software Market. 

The resignation of Paul Allen

Allen was working with Microsoft until the year 1983, but he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. His cancer went into remission a year later with intensive treatment, but he resigned from the company. Rumors were spreading on why Allen left Microsoft. Some were saying that Gates pushed him out, while others say it was a life-changing experience for Allen and he saw there were other opportunities in which he could invest his time.

He left Microsoft

In 2000, Bill Gates  stepped down from the day-to-day operations and turned over the job of CEO to a college called Steve Ballmer,  who had been with Microsoft since 1980. In 2006, Gates announced  that he would devote more quality time to the foundation I’m the last full day of Microsoft was on June 27, 2008. 

In February 2014,  he moved into a new position as technology advisor,  and Steve Ballmer was replaced by Satya Nadella. 

Personal life 

It was in 1987,  the 32 years old Bill Gates met the  23 year old Melinda French, who was the Microsoft product manager. She was a perfect match for Gates and they had an intimate and intellectual connection,  which made them get married on January 1st, 1994. 

Bill Gates and Melinda

But after a few months of his marriage, his mother passed away due to breast cancer.  In 1996,  their first daughter  Jennifer was born, and in 1999, their son Rory was born, while in 2002, the second daughter Phoebe arrived. 

It was in May 2021, that the end of the marriage between Bill Gates and  Melinda was announced.

The Foundation 

In 1994 Gates found his Foundation William H. Gates by selling some of his shares in Microsoft.  In 2000 he and his wife got together to create the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This was the world’s wealthiest Foundation and assets valued at about more than $34.6 billion.  In 2007 Bill and Melinda was the second most generous philanthropist in America  who have given over $28 billion to charity. 

Bill gates award

He received numerous awards for philanthropic work and  he was named as one of the most influential people of the 20th century.m Bill Gates holds several honorary doctorates from universities throughout the world and in 2005 he was knighted as an honorary Knight commander of the order of the British Empire bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II.

Nothing is impossible to achieve, and if you do what you are passionate about, then you would reach the height. And so this is Bill Gates’s story of success on how he worked hard for his company.

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