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A Cheeky Peak at Success: Bill Gates

Cheeky Employee


He was one of the defining figures of the personal computer revolution and his name is synonymous with wealth and success.  Let’s take a Cheeky peak at the success of Bill Gates.  His achievements as the co-founder of Microsoft, richest man on the planet by age 39, a philanthropist and all-round inspiration are well known to everyone.

Bill Gates (William Henry Gates III) was born in Seattle, Washington on the 28th of October 1955.  He grew up in an upper-middle-class family, but we all know it was when he dropped out of college that his fame and success started.  Well, although interesting, most of us know the success stories, but where did the great man go wrong?  I am much more interested in looking at the failures Bill Gates made and learning from him.

‘Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose’

Bill Gates - Microsoft


The business operated in the 1970’s, but it failed under the leadership of Paul Allen and Bill Gates.  The company was supposed to read data from roadway counters, but it had no viable customers.  Municipalities were not won over by the idea and the business soon failed.  It is said that, on average, entrepreneurs fail at least 13 times before achieving success.  Something to keep in mind if you are thinking of going out on a limb.


Underestimating the competition:

He did this three times!  While at the head of Microsoft Bill Gates underestimated the internet and sought to protect Windows from its influence.  He was soon proved wrong as everything, and I mean everything, became cloud-integrated and they had to rush to catch up.  Microsoft had lost much of its strategic positioning in the 2000’s, but he is ready to accept the internet into his heart today.

He also admitted to the mistake of ignoring search engines, which he deemed unnecessary at the time, with the words: ‘Google kicked our butts.’  The start-up raced ahead of Microsoft and is now one of the biggest brands in the world.

Finally, he saved his biggest competition.  It was August of 1997 and Bill Gates decided to bail out the fledgeling  Apple, who would otherwise have failed.  $150 million of investment later, Apple grew from strength to strength and is now Microsoft’s biggest competition.  You could have had the monopoly, Bill!



Final thought:

Perhaps he did not want the monopoly.  Bill Gates believes in Capitalism, Charity and Innovation.  The competition with Apple has no doubt pushed him to become greater.

‘We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering.’


‘As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.’


‘To win big, sometimes you have to take big risks.’

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