Bill Gates biography: What is his investment style?

4 min. reading
Bill Gates / 9 July, 2021

Edgar Mondragón Tenorio Journalist

“If you screw up it’s not your parents’ or your teachers’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes and learn from them.”

Bill Gates

A discovery and a decision

Born on October 28, 1955 to a middle-class family, the son of a lawyer and a college teacher in Seattle, William (Bill) Henry Gates III spent his early years as an ordinary child in public school through at least the sixth grade.

Beginning in seventh grade, Gates was accepted into the exclusive Lakeside Academy. In this school, without knowing it, he would have his first contact with a computer, the great discovery with which he would become passionate and change his life, and he would meet his great friend and business partner, Paul Allen.

Years later, Bill would be accepted at Harvard, where he founded his software design company, Microsoft, while continuing as a student. However, a year later, he made the decision to abandon his university studies to dedicate himself full time to his company.

The adventure begins

In 1976, Gates and Allen move to Albuquerque, where they sign the agreement for 50% of the “Basic” language. A year later, amidst the pressure due to delays in the development of the new computer language, they enter the success of the company founded by Steve Jobs.

In the 80’s, IBM was looking for a new operating system for its computers. Gates took the opportunity to tell them about the existence of a potential operating system and offered to obtain it on a non-exclusive basis, in order to adapt it and license it to them.

The operating system in question, which he obtained for $50,000, was the basis of what would later become known as MS-DOS. IBM urgently needed the operating system to compete directly against Apple for the growing personal computer market.

IBM agreed to a non-exclusive license to put the operating system on its computers. From then on, Gates and Allen concentrated on developing the Windows operating system that would end up being the predominant operating system in the computer world.

The dark side

As the years went by, Microsoft’s success, with its entire range of products aimed at personal computers of all brands, positioned itself as the leader, overshadowing and ousting both those who were once its partners and its rivals.

However, Microsoft’s founders’ vision of work was very different. Following an illness detected in Allen, he wanted to emphasize the simple things in life, while Gates was obsessed with work. Allen resigned from his position at Microsoft and, in response, Gates tried to legally remove him from the business.

Microsoft under Bill Gates was anything but the best place to work. Gates’ demands were insufferable to so many that he was even sued repeatedly for mistreatment at work. Much of this had to do with Gates’ decision to leave someone else in charge, while he just focused on software development.

His philanthropic work

In 2000, with Bill Gates, already self-demoted in rank, he and his wife Melinda decided to devote more time to their philanthropic work and merge several foundations dedicated to different causes into one simply called “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”.

Through this foundation he has supported educational causes, research and development of medicines, support for vulnerable groups and crusades against diseases in developing countries.

In June 2010, together with his great friend, Warren Buffet, he launched the “Giving Pledge” initiative, with which they seek that all billionaires in the world donate, either during their lifetime or after their death, at least half of their fortunes to a cause for humanity.

What is his investment style?

In the first instance, Gates, through the deal he made with IBM to provide an operating system on a non-exclusive basis, managed to fine-tune a product in which he invested at least $50,000 dollars in the first instance, to fine-tune it and then sell it to all personal computer manufacturers.

As a result, he was indicted in the 1990s for anti-competitive practices. However, being almost the only developer of software for home computers catapulted Gates’ company financially.

In addition, it is known that he has left the management of his personal fortune in the hands of experts such as Buffett who have known how to make his wealth profitable.

Bill Gates today

Currently, Bill Gates is fully dedicated to his philanthropic work, it is common to see him recommending books and giving lectures and speeches on current issues and the importance of social causes and how technology can help improve the quality of life.

 

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