How Bill Gates & His Business Partner, Paul Allen, Became Successful
William Henry Gates III states that your most unhappy customers can be your greatest source to learning. A highly successful entrepreneur. Bill Gates, along with Paul Allen, were able to create the world’s largest and most popular software business.
In 1986, Bill took Microsoft public. Bill began selling shares at $21.00 each share. Bill became a millionaire at the age of just 31. The encyclopedia was Bill’s favorite book. He spent hours just reading them. Bill was what many would call a loner at school. His parents noticed that Bill was becoming bored at school and had some behavioral issues. His parents decided to send him to a private school. He excelled there. The parents raised enough money to buy a computer for their school. Bill was fascinated by the computer’s functionality. He wrote a program that allowed students to play tic-tac toe against computers. Paul Allen was Bill’s high school friend. They were both passionate about computers, and became close friends. They worked together on many computer programs. Paul would sometimes kick Bill out the computer lab because they were having such terrible arguments. Bill was aggressive, while Paul was quieter and more shy. They would constantly argue over who should run the computer laboratory. In an effort to get more computer power, they added bugs to the software. They were both caught and they were banned from using computers. Bill offered to fix the program bugs for more time. Bill was asked by the school to create a student scheduling program. Bill was eager to have fun with this program and he enrolled in three classes with all the lovely girls. Bill was approached by the school’s technology company to create a payroll program. Bill was open to the idea, provided he received computer time and royalties. He requested that the school grant his request.
Later, Bill started a business making traffic counters. They would track traffic patterns around their Seattle home. This small business venture was a success. They were able to make $30,000 in a short time. It was a temporary venture as Paul and Bill wanted to pursue higher education. Bill graduated highschool with a 1590 SAT score (the perfect score being 1600) and was accepted at Harvard University, the same university his dad graduated. Pre-Law was the major he chose to pursue, as he followed in the footsteps his father. Bill didn’t always want to be a lawyer. His interest was in computers and computer program development. Bill spent most time in the lab. He was a graduate level computer science student and took math classes. He didn’t need to sleep much. Bill was not one of those students who slept too much.
His parents were supportive. He explained to them that if the decision didn’t work out, he could go back to school and complete his Law degree. Paul also moved to Boston, MA. Paul started working for Honeywell. Bill was interested in a MITS Altair Minicomputer Kit and came across the article. They lied and claimed that they were developing a program to run the Altair computer. They didn’t have the program needed to run MITS Altair. They were only curious to find out if MITS was interested, so Bill reached out to Ed Roberts to ask for a demonstration.
Paul flew to New Mexico after spending months working on the program. He then demonstrated the program to the Altair president at MITS. The program was not tested before it was presented to the president of the company. It worked. MITS bought the software for $3000.00 plus royalties. Paul was appointed Vice President and Director for Software at MITS. Bill and the President at MITS had a bad working relationship. MITS’s President decided to sell his business and pursue a new career path. The new MITS owner was not happy with their decision and they sued him to protect the software rights they had created. Paul and Bill formed an LLC and registered the trademark “Microsoft”. Paul received 40% while Bill received 60%. The widespread piracy of Microsoft’s early years caused them to become increasingly angry. Bill was the one to create a Read Only Memory.
Bill Gates was able to retain their rights and use the trademark to create software for other computer companies like IBM. Because they were interested in computers back when it was still unclear what their purpose and usage was, they are now billionaires. This paper is actually tied to a Microsoft program. Bill Gates once said that leaders are those who empower others.