So just how did Bill Gates get started to becoming one of the world’s richest man? Bill Gates, real name William Henry Gates III, is a co-founder of one of the most famous and recognized computer software companies in the world, Microsoft. He was born in the United States on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington to William H. Gates II and Mary Maxwell Gates.
Gates has two sisters and they enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle as they were growing up. His mother was a school teacher who was also the Chairperson for the United Way. His father was an attorney in Seattle.
He attended Harvard University where he worked on a version of computer programming language known as BASIC with Paul Allen. Bill Gates did not graduate from Harvard; instead, he left Harvard during his junior year to start the company that has made him so famous and the richest person in the world (according to Forbes), Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft was formed in 1975 and it has completely changed the way the world uses computers today. Originally named, Micro-soft, which was an abbreviation of the microcomputer software, the company changed its name to simply, Microsoft. Bill gates retired from the CEO position at Microsoft in 2008.
Even though Gates founded one of the strongest and most influential companies in the world, along with his success has came great criticism. Many criticized Gates for making Microsoft a monopoly and limiting the abilities of competitors such as Apple Computer and more. Gates has fought several battles in the courtroom since the development of the Microsoft Corporation. Legal battles have included: Apple Computer, Netscape, Opera, WordPerfect, and sun Microsystems.
In 2006, it was estimated by Forbes that Bill Gates’ net worth was $56 billion USD. (Too old, need 2009) He has held the number one position on Forbes’ list since the mid 90’s, except in 2008 when controversy between a Mexican billionaire, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates’ fortunes were examined, or somewhat at least. In the early part of 2008, Forbes stated that Warren Buffet knocked Bill Gates from the number one position; however, the Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim Helu’s fortune was not tabulated in the list. As 2008 continued on, speculations were made that Bill Gates, once again, became the richest man in the world, where he maintained his title through 2009 at $50 billion USD.
Bill Gates’ investment style has been compared by many to that of Warren Buffet. Bill Gates owns his own investment company called Cascade Investment, LLC which Gates’ uses to embark on several of his personal investing adventures.
Cascade doesn’t take part in investing in technology like one would think after Gates’ reign over Microsoft; instead, Cascade takes part in investments that will offer long term value. Basically, Cascade could own millions of stock options in hundreds of companies; however, instead they invest majorly in a small amount of companies where they can hold a major share of the company. For instance, the garbage industry has Gates’ attention. Cascade has invested in a company known as RSG on the NYSE or Republic Services. Cascade (Gates) owns 13% of the garbage collecting company.
Gates’ investment style is like a “whole market” approach where capitalization upon select stocks within a particular industry that is on the rebound is important. His investments are diversified where “old economy” stocks are utilized and through the purchasing of bonds.
1. “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
2. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
3. “At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.”
4. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
5. “I actually thought that it would be a little confusing during the same period of your life to be in one meeting when you’re trying to make money, and then go to another meeting where you’re giving it away.”
6. “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG.”
7. “Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.”
8. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
9. “Life is not fair; get used to it.”
10. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”