Episode #9 of the course “History’s greatest entrepreneurs”
One of the men who led the world into the digital age, Bill Gates is best known as founder and CEO of Microsoft Corporation, the makers of the commonly-used computer operating system Microsoft Windows as well as other computer products. Gates was always a pioneer in this industry, taking the world by storm with his dedication to perfection and his innovative solutions to technological hurdles. As developer of the most commonly-used computer software, Gates has been one of the wealthiest men in the world for the last 20 years. Occasionally he is knocked from the top of the list, but he rarely falls below second place.
Born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, William Henry “Bill” Gates III demonstrated his interest and adroit ability with computer programming from his early teen years. By the time he graduated high school, he had already worked on some of the largest, most difficult, and most important computer programming of the 1970s. He was a paid software programmer while still in school, and he left in his sophomore year to run his own company. He never worked for another employer or returned to school.
Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates
Throughout the 1980s, Gates’ technology dominated the market, beginning with his MS-DOS operating system. After the later launch of Windows, Gates may have been less involved with the coding of Microsoft programs, but he was intricately involved with the daily operations of the company. He did not step down as CEO until 2006, when he turned his focus to his philanthropic missions. Bill Gates has given billions of dollars to various charities, improving the lives of people around the world through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He and his wife have pledged to give away 95% of their wealth before their deaths.
“Life is not fair; get used to it.”
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
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