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 partnered with Paul Allen to create the world’s most successful software company, Microsoft.
In 1986, Bill took Microsoft public. Bill began selling shares at $21.00 each share. Bill became a millionaire in his 31st year. 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. He ended up enrolling in a private college where he did well. The parents raised enough money to buy a computer for their school. Bill was fascinated by the computer’s functionality. He wrote a software program to allow 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 a lot on computer programs. Paul would sometimes kick Bill out the computer lab because they were having such terrible arguments. Bill was very combative, while Paul was quieter and more shy. They would constantly argue about 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 wanted to have fun with the program so he joined 3 classes with the beautiful girls. Bill was approached by the school’s technology company to create a payroll system for them. Bill agreed to the offer, provided that he was paid royalties and computer time. 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. Within a matter of months, they had made $30,000 in just a few short months. They were unable to make a profit because both Bill and Paul wanted their sons to go on college. 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 Bill’s major. He followed his father’s example. 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 didn’t need to be awake at night to study for exams.
His parents were supportive. He explained to them that if it 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 said they were working on a program to run Altair computers, but that was a bit of a lie. They didn’t have the program needed to run MITS Altair. They wanted to find out if MITS was interested, so Bill reached out to Ed Roberts to ask for a demonstration.
Paul flew to New Mexico to show the program to the 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 made Vice President of MITS and Director Software. Bill and the President at MITS had a bad working relationship. MITS’ President decided that he would sell the business to pursue a new career. 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 got 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 were, they are now billionaires. This paper is actually tied to a Microsoft program. Bill Gates once said that leaders are those who empower others.