Steve Jobs may have been the more celebrated innovator – but when it comes to money matters, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has always ruled the roost. Just like Jobs, Gates too was a university dropout (that too, from Harvard University). There are plenty of interesting tidbits about the personal and professional life of Bill Gates, and we take a look at some of them here:
1. The nickname – The nickname of the 58-year old multi-billionaire is ‘Trey’ – in reference to his original name, William Henry Gates III. He was the 4th member in the family to share the same name. It also adds fuel to the belief that ‘Bill’ is the most frequently chosen nickname for people named ‘William’!
2. The early start – Bill Gates started displaying a keen interest in the world of computing when he was at school (Lakeside Private School). He was able to write complex computer programs by the age of 13. When Gates was 17, one of his programs was sold for a whopping $ 4200.
3. The philanthropy – Unlike Steve Jobs, Bill Gates loves doing charity. Till date, his total contributions have been nearly $ 40,000,000,000. In fact, the total value of charitable work done by Gates is more than the net worth of the last two people on the top-10 list of the richest persons in the world. Successful software and mobile app developers often look up to Gates for his philanthropic nature.
4. The wealth – Let’s just say if Bill Gates was a nation – he would have been among the top-50 richest ones in the globe. The total net worth of the man is a shade under $ 79 billion, with his average daily earning being more than $ 20 million. At this rate, he can pay off America’s total national debt on his own. Gates will have to live till he is about 730 years old for that, however!
5. Starting Microsoft – Not having a formal college degree never threatened Gates’ professional ambitions. He collaborated with close friend Paul Allen to establish Microsoft in 1975. Gates was only twenty years old at the time. A ‘young entrepreneur’ in the truest sense of the term!
6. The promise – Not many took young Bill seriously when he claimed that he would become a millionaire by the age of 30. Well, he more than lived up to his promise – by entering the elite club of billionaires when he was 31. There was no Looking back, as Gates went on becoming richer and richer.
7. The academic brilliance – Bill Gates might not have completed college, but his academic prowess was at par with the very best. He took the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) in the early ’70 -s, and got a score of 1590. This performance roughly pegs Gates’ IQ score at 170 (about 55 more than the average level).
8. The trouble with police – As a young man, Gates had a tryst with police troubles as well. In 1977, he was driving in New Mexico without a license. He jumped a couple of red lights as well – and was, predictably, arrested by the local police. Gates did not get into any other major legal hassles later on, however.
9. The predecessor of Microsoft – Microsoft (which was initially spelt as Micro-soft) was not the first business venture that Bill Gates and Paul Allen tried their hands at. They had earlier dabbled with a company called Traf-O-Data. It was involved in making Intel 8008-powered traffic counters.
10. The Knighthood – Few people know that Bill Gates has been conferred Knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen of England (in 2005). However, since he is an American citizen, he can not formally use the title ‘Sir’ before his name. That does not take anything away from the fact that his accomplishments were acknowledged the world over.
11. The apathy towards Facebook – Bill Gates is pretty active on Twitter – but the same can not be said about his Facebook presence. He once stated that the non-stop avalanche of friend requests is what keeps him away from Facebook. In general, Gates is on friendly terms with Mark Zuckerberg – which rules out any personal motive behind his connection to use FB.
12. The love for art – It is not only about computers and software, as far as Gates’ life is concerned. He appreciates valuable works of art – and once, forked out nearly $ 31 million to purchase Codex Leicester, one of the most coveted writings of Leonardo da Vinci. What’s more, it made it available for free on Windows Vista. Gates loves art, and he believes in sharing!
13. The legacy for kids – Gates has three children – Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe – and he hopes that each of them would become self-made individuals. Each of them would get only about $ 10 million as inheritance, as Gates has already announced. Of course, that is a reasonable fortune in its own right!
14. The erroneous predictions – For a man as successful and revered across the world, the number of grossly mistaken predictions that Bill Gates has made is surprising. In 1981, he said that personal computers would never require more than 640 KB of internal memory – and all of us know how much off the mark this proved to be. He also opinated that, by 2006, spam emails would be history – and that did not happen either. Most ironically, Windows NT was a 32-bit operating system, which directly recalled Gates’ claim earlier that Microsoft would never develop a 32-bit system.
15. The love-hate relation with Steve Jobs – The Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs war of words is one of the most publicized rivalries between top-level business personalities. Gates once stated that Jobs ‘did not know much about technology’, while the co-founder of Apple Inc. Expressed his opinion that Gates would have been better off if he ‘took an acid’. When Jobs attacked Gates about stealing ideas from Xerox, the latter retreated that Jobs had already done the same. Interestingly, Jobs retained the final letter that Gates sent to him – only days before his death.
16. The goodbye to Microsoft – In 2008, Bill Gates cave up his post as the full-time chairman of Microsoft. The main motive behind this was to make out more time to expand the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on charitable works around the world. He is, however, still an advisory at the company.
The love for philanthropy has taken Bill Gates to many parts of the world – and his vaccination and healthcare campaigns have saved millions of lives. He hitched up with long-time sweetheart Melinda French on New Year’s Day in 1994. Gates was ranked as the richest man on the planet for 13 consecutive years (1995-2007), and reclaimed his Throne in 2009. At present, he is being Closely followed by Carlos Slim, a noted Mexican entrepreneur – whose net worth is also over $ 78 billion. Experts from the domain of computing and mobile app development unanimously agree that Bill Gates is one of the greatest contemporary entrepreneurs. While his life does not quite have the fairytale feel as Jobs’ – there is plenty of evidence pointing to his fun-loving side. After all, he once developed a class-scheduling program, that placed him with mostly girl students!