Bill Gates is a 55 year old self made billionaire, one of the World’s richest people. He dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 and soon after, started Microsoft with Paul Allen - also a billionaire. He lives in Washington, USA ,with his wife, Melinda and their 2 children. In a May 2006 interview, Gates commented that he wished that he were not the richest man in the world because he disliked the attention it brought.
In recent years, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic ventures, donating large amounts of money to charitable organizations and scientific research through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity. The generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller has been credited as a major influence.
Bill Gate's Secret of Success
Excerpted with permission from Business the Bill Gates Way : 10 Secrets of the World's Richest Business Leader by Des Dearlove, Stuart Crainer
tripodCareful analysis reveals ten secrets that explain the success of Microsoft and its remarkable CEO. The secrets of doing business the Bill Gates way are:
Be in the right place at the right time. It's easy to put Microsoft's success down to one extraordinary piece of good luck - securing the contract to supply IBM with the operating system for its first PC. But there is more to his luck than meets the eye. Gates recognized the significance of the IBM deal. He knew that it could change the history of personal computing, and he worked tirelessly for more than six months to maximize his chance of "being lucky."
Fall in love with the technology. One of the most important aspects of Microsoft's continued success has been Gates' technological knowledge. He retains control over key decisions in this area. On many occasions he has seen the future direction of technology more clearly than his rivals. He has also been prepared to lead the way.
Take no prisoners. Gates is a fierce competitor. In everything he does, he is driven to win. As a deal maker this makes him an extremely tough negotiator. He makes no bones about this and talks openly about crushing competitors.
Hire very smart people. "High-IQ people" is a Microsoft term for the very brightest people. From the start, Gates has always insisted that the company required the very best minds. He does not suffer technological fools gladly. In some quarters this has been seen as elitist and has provoked criticism. But it has a number of positive effects. The company is able to recruit many brilliant students straight from college who are attracted by the prospect of working with the very best.
Learn to survive. Gates freely admits that most of his commercial battles with competitors have been lost by them through their own mistakes. What he is especially good at is avoiding the bear traps that others fall into, while exploiting the opportunities that arise from the mistakes of others.
Don't expect any thanks. Bill Gates knows the importance of having friends in high places. Despite his ongoing battle with the U.S. antitrust regulators, Gates has courted the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, holding CEO forums in Seattle and other cities across the U.S.
Assume the visionary position. Bill Gates is a new type of business leader. Over the years, he has repeatedly shown that he is a the closest thing the computer industry has to a seer. His in-depth understanding of technology as a unique way of synthesizing data gives him a special ability to spot future trends and steer Microsoft's strategy. This also inspires awe among Microsoft fans and intimidates its competitors.
Cover all the bases. A key element of Microsoft's success is its ability to manage a large number of projects simultaneously. Gates himself is the original multitasking person and is said to be able to hold several different technical conversations at the same time. This remarkable ability is reflected in the company's approach. It means that it is constantly exploring new markets and new software applications. This protects it from missing the next "big thing."
Build a byte-sized business. Relative to its stock market valuation, Microsoft remains a relatively small company. Internally, too, the company is constantly splitting into smaller units to maintain the optimal entrepreneurial team environment. At times, change has been so rapid that Microsoft seems to be creating new divisions on an almost weekly basis. Gates also relies on maintaining a simple structure to enable him to keep his grip on the company. Whenever he feels that lines of communication are becoming stretched or fuzzy, he has no hesitation in simplifying the structure.
Never, ever take your eye off the ball. Gates has been at the top of his profession for more than two decades now. In that time he has become the richest man in the world not bad for someone still in his early 40s Yet despite his enormous wealth and achievements, Gates shows no signs of slowing down. He says he is driven by a "latent fear" that he might miss the next big thing.