Bill Gates is an American software developer and business magnate who co-founded Microsoft, an American technology company specialized in developing computer software, in 1975 with his friend Paul Allen. His success isn’t by chance, it’s the result of years of hard work and attempts.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose,” Bill Gates wrote in his 1996 book The Road Ahead.
Here are six reasons behind Bill Gates’ success:
Bill Gates was passionately interested in technology and programming since he was an 8th grade student. Years before other schools had access to computers, the Mothers Club at Bill Gates’ school purchased a Teletype Model 33 which he had access to. Bill Gates’ passion for computers made him more eager to learn more about its software and hardware, and he worked on finding computer bugs for his school.
2. Learning through practice
The school was supplied with other devices, including a mainframe computer called a PDP-10, belonging to the Computer Center Corporation (CCC). Students, including Bill Gates, later broke the security systems on the computer, which led to a ban on using the system. After the ban, Bill Gates, accompanied by three of his friends, made an offer to CCC to find bugs in the software for more time using the computer, which CCC agreed to.
Bill Gates and his friends worked to help CCC in detecting errors. The experience they acquired in computer languages enabled them to master programming. Bill Gates developed his skills by continuous practice, a lesson that can apply to anyone looking for success.
3. Making decisions
At 17, it was the time for Bill Gates to make a decision related to his passion – programming. He followed his passion and founded Traf-O-Data with his close friend and partner Paul Allen, a company specialized in traffic-counting systems and creating reports for traffic engineers.
Paul Allen shared the same passion and interest in programming. In 1975, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) released the MITS Altair 8800. Bill Gates and Paul Allen approached MITS to develop an emulator to run on the minicomputer that would implement the BASIC, a computer language, on it. At that time, they founded their startup, Microsoft. Starting a new company was a big risk, but smart timing and a business plan helped Gates and Allen.
4. Hard work
In 1980, Microsoft’s sales were less than predictable, the company had a tight budget and couldn’t hire a sales manager. At that point, Bill Gates took leave from his studies at Harvard to work on Microsoft. The pair decided to split from MITS and only focus on Microsoft and worked to improve its products and services.
The turning point for Microsoft was when it licensed an operating system called MS-DOS to be used for IBM’s personal computers, a giant in computers at the time. Consequently, Microsoft became the world’s biggest operating systems supplier. Microsoft continued to develop its products, releasing Microsoft Office in 1990, a suite of productivity software that would become the company’s most successful office product.
Bill Gates never worked alone, he started Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen, and then worked with a team. At the beginning of Microsoft, he read every code sold. Bill Gates was dedicated to Microsoft and asked his employees to be too. Success is easier to achieve when working with a team rather than alone.
The journey wasn’t easy, and Microsoft worked to expand its product offerings as far as possible. Bill Gates succeeded but found himself working on the bleeding edge of consumer software development and information technology faced with stiff competition from a variety of companies looking to capitalize on a growing sector. Despite the company facing challenges, with many industry experts previously commentating that the firm broadly missed the overall shift to mobile technology, Microsoft, and by extension Bill Gates, is still incredibly successful.
Microsoft is now one of the world’s most valuable company and is worth over $2 trillion. Though Bill Gates resigned as chairman of Microsoft in 2008, the company continues to grow.