February 1, 2018
Writer: IT Communications Writer
What Did He Do?
Bill Gates is the creator of the world's largest software company. In 1975, he and his college friend Paul Allen founded the Microsoft (a clever portmanteau of microcomputer and software) Corporation. You may recognize this name, as it is stamped on many of the computers, software, gaming consoles, and video games that all of us enjoy using! Despite a turbulent beginning, Gates persevered and used his business savvy and innate technological smarts to establish Microsoft as a household name.
Today, Microsoft is the world's largest software business, and Gates himself has a net worth of over $70 billion. He turned his software developing skills into mind-boggling wealth, and we owe many of our technological conveniences to Bill Gates. Additionally, many many people the world over have had their lives improved by the charitable efforts of Bill Gates.
Why Did He Do It?
Bill Gates was obsessed with computers and technology from his early childhood. He took an interest in computer hacking at age 13, and was often excused from math classes to tinker with programming in his school's computer lab. However, not everyone believed that his passion for technology was lucrative, so when it came time for Gates to attend college, he enrolled in the Harvard Business School.
He couldn't shake the feeling that his path lay in technology, though. After dropping out of Harvard to begin Microsoft, Gates spent the next five years working 16-hour days and personally checking every line of code his employees produced. His stamina and passion kept him going throughout this chaotic time. He became the embodiment of his own statement that "to win big, you sometimes have to take big risks."
How Did He Do It?
It wasn't all smooth sailing right away for Microsoft. Founding the world's largest computer empire required technological innovation and aggressive business strategy and tactics.
As Gates was trying to get his new company off the ground, people were distributing his software for free. In response to this, Gates wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists stating that if they wouldn't pay for software, he would stop producing quality software. Gates had a standard and stood for what he felt was right. He took necessary measures throughout his career to bring his changes and dreams to fruition.
What is He Doing Now?
In addition to adhering to these standards of fairness and justice, Gates lives his life - and spends his vast fortune - by the values of charity and compassion. He and his wife Melinda founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a group of "impatient optimists working to reduce inequity."
The Foundation is one of the largest charitable organizations in the US, with assets of almost $37 billion. This staggering amount of money is spent on providing health care, educations, and other life improving opportunities to impoverished people both in the US and abroad. All of the Foundation's values, which can be easily found on the Foundation's website, are branches of the core idea that "all lives have equal value."
In starting, maintaining, and expanding the Foundation, Bill Gates proves that standards are not just a business model, but a philanthropic one as well.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Website