In 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, a beautiful plan was hatched. Nobody could have predicted just how unbelievably world-changing this plan would be, least of all the man with the plan himself –Mr Bill Gates. Now, you may have already guessed what this ‘plan’ of his became (or maybe you just read the title of the article). Well, either way, sit yourself back down and strap yourself in because we are about to go a whirlwind of a journey to find out how two college kids somehow managed to become the founders of one of the most important and successful technology companies in history.
Growing up a scrawny kid in Seattle, Gates often found himself the target of childhood bullies. A serious blow to his confidence, he struggled to defend himself and in turn began to doubt his abilities. The bullying also wound up having a serious knock-on effect with regards to his social life. Much to the frustration of his mother, Gates didn’t want to go outside and play like the other kids. Instead, he much preferred his own company and would spend an awful lot of time locked in his room “thinking”.
However, depressing as it may seem, all that time Gates spent “thinking” clearly paid off as before he reached his teenage years, he had already designed his first-ever software programme. Not one to give up on his passion, throughout high school, Gates spent a lot of his time homing in his craft and finding out everything he could about computers and their software. He developed a knack for them and began writing more software codes and programming throughout his time in school.
But he didn’t always use his technological powers for good, in high school, after being caught hacking a software with some of his nerd buddies to get free computer time, Gates and the rest of his makeshift crime ring found themselves stuck with a gut-wrenching summer-long ban from one of the computers systems. But, Gates sensed an opportunity and sought to rectify the situation. Using his bargaining skills, he managed to convince that same company to give him and his friends a job in return for free computer time.
Shortly before their senior year, on what Bill Gates described as “one of the saddest days” of his life, his best friend and first business partner, Kent Evans, died suddenly in a freak accident. After this, Gates continued his computer-related ventures, and after receiving an unbelievable score of 1590 out of 1600 in his SATs, he found his way onto a very famous campus. Now a student at Harvard, Gates realised he no longer had a plan of action and after spending his days unengaged with the degree he was there to study, he reached an impasse. So, he took a massive risk and made the decision to drop out of school, determined to start his own company.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Gates knew the only way to get their voices heard was to send ripples all the way to the top of the technological industries. And what’s the best way to do that? Well, according to Gates, it’s by telling a big white lie. So, despite what he learned from his mother, Gates wrote to tech mogul MITS, constructing a wonderfully weaved lie. So clever, in fact, even his extremely religious grandmother would have been impressed (on the inside at least). He claimed himself and Allen had been working on software so unbelievably and mathematically phenomenal, it would blow the company’s minds. They told them it was designed to work in perfect harmony with their pre-existing systems to make their great software even greater.
But the kicker to all this, is that in reality, Gates and Allen had done a big fat nothing. Somehow, despite this, the two of them managed to worm their way into an opportunity to actually develop something for the company as a test. Maybe it was the universe’s way of apologising for sending a tornado to damage his family home in his early childhood, but by some miracle, two kids, a 20-year old college drop-out and his friend, managed to sign a deal with one of the biggest tech companies of the time.
And thus, Microsoft was born.
Well, the journey from that pivotal moment to Microsoft becoming one of the biggest tech companies in the world certainly wasn’t easy. Not long after the deal was signed, the software they had developed was being leaked, causing great losses to the company. Not wanting to make that same mistake again, Bill vowed to never make any big decisions in business without having business insurance to cover his losses, searching all over the country (even as far as Canada) to find the best insurance policy to cover the company.
After years of rising through the ranks of the company, Gates never lost sight of his true passion – coding. Despite now being one of the richest men alive, literally able to afford to hire somebody to do any sort of menial task for him, he still likes to find time to code. In his spare time, he even revisits old coding patterns to see if there are ways to improve them. Even his wife has grown sick of the sound of his keyboard clicking. But its this dedication to his craft and his determination to succeed that made sure Microsoft became the software giant it is today.