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How To Become As Rich As Bill Gates

This article was written by in Career and Work. 3 comments.

Bill Gates

This essay is several years old, but I’ve just come across it now, at 2:00 in the morning on January 19, 2006. How do you become as rich as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft?

William Henry Gates III made his best decision on October 28, 1955, the night he was born. He chose J.W. Maxwell as his great-grandfather. Maxwell founded Seattle’s National City Bank in 1906. His son, James Willard Maxwell was also a banker and established a million-dollar trust fund for William (Bill) Henry Gates III… Remind your parents not to send you to public school. Bill Gates went to Lakeside, Seattle’s most exclusive prep school where tuition in 1967 was $5,000 (Harvard tuition that year was $1760).

The article does talk about what Gates did with his company and how it is different than the operating procedures in use (or previously in use before they disappeared) fly-by-night tech companies.

Looking past the first two Lessons (choose your grandparents and choose your parents), here is what the article leaves the reader:

* Acquire research results by hiring and buying. Don’t pay for research, swoop in after the research has been done.
* Let other people do the programming. Coders aren’t rich.
* Traing your new CEO. There are some examples of companies that thrived when the CEO is bred within the company, not hired from the outside.
* Focus on profit. Build a product that becomes a necessity in other products.
* Let the venture capitalists schmooze Wall Street. “Successful software products companies spend most of their time listening to their customers and users rather than to venture capitalists.”
* Self-esteem in not Job 1. People like feeling good about themselves, but according to this essay, some of the best leaders are outrightly mean.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published January 19, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Bob

“Self-esteem in not Job 1. People like feeling good about themselves, but according to this essay, some of the best leaders are outrightly mean.”

So basically survival of the fittest, do whatever it takes, including throwing ethics and integrity out the window. At least that what Microsoft did to get to the top.

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avatar ivi

Well. I am the kind of a person who dreams a lot. I have had many ideas about softwares that do not exist which I am not able to create now. What is your opinion that I should do to make this software possible?

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avatar chiny

i am will to do what ever it takes

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avatar hb

Lesson #3: Choose your mother well. It was the connections of Mary Maxwell Gates, daughter and granddaughter of bankers, University of Washington Regent, UW Foundation Board member, UW Medical Board member, UW Business School advisor, United Way’s first national female chairperson, boardmember of First Instate Bank, Unigard Security Insurance Group, Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone (U.S. WEST) and KIRO, who brought Bill’s little project to the attention of IBM.

“In 1980, she discussed with John Opel, a fellow committee member who was the chairman of the International Business Machines Corporation,” her son’s company. “Mr. Opel, by some accounts, mentioned Mrs. Gates to other I.B.M. executives. A few weeks later, I.B.M. took a chance by hiring Microsoft, then a small software firm, to develop an operating system for its first personal computer.”

Yeah, you do whatever it takes. Unfortunately, you can’t chose your parents.

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