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 @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.