He’s been in the business spotlight for the entirety of the modern era. While not all press coverage on Bill Gates has been uniformly positive, one cannot deny the tremendous impact he has had on the world as we know it. A math whiz who took to computer programming while in middle school, Bill’s brilliance was first recognized within his school but word spread quickly and it was not long before local governments and corporations were seeking his and Paul Allen’s help. Bill was not only exceptionally quick on solving complex problems, he had vision and could extrapolate out that one day computers would become ubiquitous.
As his vision began to play out and Microsoft took a leading role in the then nascent software industry, Bill quickly realized the need for him to become a business builder. And although he could have easily have grown at a slower yet still impressive growth rate or have cashed out early, he chose to evolve as a leader and pursue dominating the software space. Bill was known to work around the clock and was relentless in ensuring everyone on his team worked with the same zeal. He assumed and enforced his CEO role eventually driving the less ambitious Paul Allen to relieve himself of his Microsoft responsibilities.
All the right pieces seemed to fall into place and Bill soon became a modern day Rockefeller. He was always one step ahead and would either acquire competitors or force them out of business. As Microsoft’s market value continued to climb and as the business became dominant enough and stable enough he slowly began to transfer CEO responsibilities to others. And in 2006, Bill transitioned to a part time role at Microsoft and full time role at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
His brilliance now continues to shine in the way he goes about deciding which of the world’s impossibly complex problems to solve and how to solve them. He employs the same outsized ambition and tactical execution to tackling poverty and world health related dilemmas as he did when first embarking on dominating the software industry. There’s no retiring or coasting into the golden years for Bill Gates, he’s just as determined as ever to make his mark on the world.