“Never dream about Success, Work for it” this quote reflects Bill Gates’ journey from a Harvard drop out to the richest man in the world. This American business magnate who co-founded the tech giant Microsoft is the best-known entrepreneur of the personal computer revolution. Right from 1976 when the company was registered till this date, a lot has been said about his Management style, his anti-competitive business tactics, his philanthropist work and about the Windows Operating Systems. But beyond this, there are very few ones who know some really interesting and fun facts about Bill Gates. Let’s dig out.
Following are some of the most interesting Bill Gates facts we bet you didn’t know.
- Born on 28th October 1955 as William Henry Gates III, Bill Gates was fourth of his name in the Gates family but was known ‘Trey’ because his father had the suffix II. According to sources, the Gates family always encouraged competition, it didn’t matter if it is hearts or pickleball or swimming to the dock, there was always a reward for winning and there was always a penalty for losing.
- Bill Gates attended the Lakeside School, a private school. It was one of the only schools in the US with a computer. He took interest in programming the General Electric system in BASIC. His school realized his liking for coding and was excused from maths classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program, an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer.
- Bill Gates belonged to family which had a sound economical background. His father, Henry Gates Sr., was an influential and wealthy lawyer. His mother Mary Maxwell Gates was a member of Washington University’s Board of Governors. She completed her education from the same university. Bill Gates is married to Melinda Ann Gates. They have three children, 2 daughters and a son- Phoebe, Jennifer and Rory.
- Many people look up to Bill Gates as a Harvard drop out, but it would come as a surprise that Bill Gates was a bright student. He got admission to Harvard after scoring 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT. The love for computers made him to leave college and the rest as we all know is history. Bill Gates received an honorary degree from Harvard in 2007. However, his wife Melinda is more educated than he is. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Economics and has an MBA degree from Duke University.
- You would be surprised to know that Microsoft isn’t the first venture of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. They came together earlier to form Traf-O-Data, a company that made traffic counters built on the Intel 8008 processor. So, it reminds us of the quote that- The only failure is when you say “I Give Up.”
- One of the very few facts about Bill Gates is that he got arrested by Albuquerque Police department because of speeding up his Porsche 911 and that too without a license. However, this is not confirmed because some sources say that the charges were that he got in a wreck after blowing a stop sign. The bail was set to a thousand dollars. Bill, although only 21, was very successful in his early years at Microsoft so he immediately posted a bail of the thousand dollars from his wallet full of cash.
- The relationship between Bill Gates and Steve jobs has received a lot of attention over the years. They both have been termed as Frenemies due to their competitive businesses. Steve Jobs once accused Bill Gates of stealing ideas from Apple, to which Gates replied, ” Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.” The bond between these two frenemies became strong during the last days of Steve Jobs. Jobs kept a letter that was sent to him by Bill Gates by his bedside during his final days. The letter appreciated the efforts of Steve Jobs in making Apple a success story and a lot to say about Steve Jobs’ children.
- One of the most interesting Bill Gates facts that would amaze you is that, this centibillionaire (Media called him centibillionaire because in 1999 his wealth surpassed $101 billion) has made appearances in a series of ads in 2008. Jerry Sienfield was also a part of these commercials. These commercials were made in order to promote Microsft. Not only in ads but he has also been a part of number of documentaries namely, “The Virtual Revolution” and “Waiting for Superman”. Besides this, he also been featured in a movies called ” Pirates of Silicon Valley”, which showcases the story of Apple and Microsoft during the 1970s to 1997.
- Now, one would always think about how could be the home of the richest man on earth. We would bet that Xanadu, the mansion of Bill Gates is one home that any person in the world would love to own. So what is so special about his home? Well, the house was built over a duration of 7 years costing $63 million. The house is spread over 66,000 square feet. The house is fully packed with the latest technology, is an earth-sheltered, has an aquarium wall, swimming pool, underwater music system, gym, a large dining room, heated floors and what not. If we believe the sources, when guests enter Bill Gates’ house they are made to wear pins that upon entering a room automatically adjust temperature, music and lighting based on the guests’ preferences.
- Yet another Bill Gates facts is that Melinda Gates, his wife and their children are not allowed to own or use an Apple product. A restriction was also put in place by Steve Balmer for his family.
Some Additional Interesting Facts About Bill Gates
- Until 1997, Bill Gates use to fly coach. Now, he has his own plane. He calls that his “big splurge.” Another biggest splurges besides his plane, was the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci. He acquired the codex for $30.8 million. He is very much fond of his Da Vinci manuscripts, Once asked if he would have to choose between his legacy and rescuing the writings from a burning home, he replied he would opt for the latter.
- Failed Predictions-
- Gates predicted that the problem of spammed email messages would be eliminated by 2004.
- His yet another failed prediction was that users would never need more than 640 kilobytes of memory on their PC.
- One short-sightedness of Bill Gates was fit when he quoted that “Microsoft would never make a 32-bit operating system”. The company eventually built 32-bits OS’ with Windows NT.
- An avid Porsche collector. He owns a Porsche 911 and a 88porsche 959 Coupe, which due to its unknown crash rate required US presidents’ sign for a federal law for Gates to drive it in the U.S.
- Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge. On December 9, 2010, Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed the “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge”, in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth. It reminds us of an interview of Gates where he mistakenly disclosed that Mark Zuckerberg was engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan.
- Gates doesn’t know any foreign language and thinks it is the biggest mistake in his life thus so far.
- You might be wondering about what does Bill Gates own now? Well, he is the largest individual shareholder in Microsoft, and owns a 6% of the common stock. After stepping down as Microsoft’s CEO in 2000 he started working full time at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 together with Paul Allen.
- When we say Bill Gates, many of us wonder about how much money does Bill Gates make a year? The answer is, Bill Gates earned $11.5 billion in 2015 which works out to be ~$33.3 million per day; $1.38 million per hour; or ~$23,148 per minute.
- Gates says if Microsoft hadn’t worked out, he probably would’ve been a researcher for artificial intelligence. We’d like to mention here that Gates personally reviewed every single line of code that Microsoft shipped for the first five years.
- As the CEO, Gates regularly met the Microsft’s senior managers and program managers. Many of the Microsoft officials describe him as verbally combative. If believed, he would interrupt the presentations with comments such as “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” and “Why don’t you just give up your options and join Peace Corps?”. When subordinates appeared to be procrastinating, he was known to remark sarcastically,” I’ll do it over the weekend”. In the industry, he also developed a reputation of not being reachable to the phone or returning phone calls.
Consistency has made Bill Gates what he is today. Be it the consistency in being the richest man on the planet or be it his philanthropist work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One does not become Bill Gates merely because of Luck. But it requires consistency, hard work and dedication. In the end, we would only close this post of Bill Gates facts on the note by saying that just ‘Be Like Bill’.