STORIES
Business Heroes

Bill Gates

by Tyler from San Diego

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
Bill Gates with Paul Allen, co-founders of Micros (http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WVWGUBuzzh5fC7WJxHdfoQ)
Bill Gates with Paul Allen, co-founders of Micros (http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WVWGUBuzzh5fC7WJxHdfoQ)

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.” This quote reveals Bill Gates drive to create positive change. He is undoubtedly the most successful college dropout ever known. Gates co-founded Microsoft Corporation in 1975 with his best friend Paul Allen when they were hired to develop software for MITTS new microcomputers. Their big break came in 1980 when IBM approached them about writing software for their new personal computers. Later on Gates and Microsoft released an innovating new operating system known worldwide as Windows, leading the way to a new era in the computer industry. In 2008, Gates stepped down as the head of Microsoft in order to become a full time philanthropist, addressing the world’s most dire problems. He has recently been Ranked 2nd on Forbes 2010 list of the richest people in the world with a total net worth estimated at a staggering $53 billion, despite already giving billions of dollars to charitable causes. (Forbes Magazine) However, Gates is my hero not because of the money he has earned, but how he earned it through determination, hard work, adapting to situations, and how he selflessly chooses to use it for good.

Bill Gates (http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/~echao/Bill_Gates.jpg)
Bill Gates (http://www.uweb.ucsb.edu/~echao/Bill_Gates.jpg)

Gates epitomizes hard work and determination, as well as the ability to adapt to a situation and perform. Gates exhibited his determination when he founded Microsoft in 1975, the company “stumbled initially, as its first five customers went bankrupt. But the company was buoyed by its founders’ youthful energy and their confidence that the computer industry was on the verge of a dramatic sea change. Importantly, Gates saw that production costs in the fast- changing market of the future would fall more heavily on hardware, the machines themselves.” (Gale Resource Center Gold). Rather than quitting because it was too hard, he persevered through a difficult situation. He recognized the fast changing market and adapted to it in order to succeed. When a person doesn’t give up, good things eventually come his way. Also, when a person utilizes their ability to adapt to obstacles, he can become stronger, and that’s exactly what happened with Gates and Microsoft. Gates and his new company seized a big break when“the pair was fascinated by the January 1975 report in ‘Popular Electronics’ magazine about the Altair 8800, one of the earliest microcomputers. He contacted the Altair’s designers and told them he and Allen were writing a BASIC program for the Altair – although they did not own an Altair and had certainly not written a program. After the head of MITS (who produced the Altair) agreed to meet them, the pair developed a suitable program and negotiated a deal to distribute it with the microcomputer. The rest is history – the pair’s computer company, Microsoft, brokered a deal with IBM to distribute an operating system with the new IBM microcomputer but kept the licensing rights” (www.thinkbigmagazine.com). Without determination, this opportunity to jumpstart his career surely would have passed him by. If a person isn’t constantly proactive, he will miss out on opportunities to excel and beat out the competition. Whether it is running a company, working a 9-5 shift, or competing for an A in an Honors Freshman English class, everyone can learn from failure and keep trying to succeed. Gates has many traits of a hero, but one of the most important is determination.

Bill and Melinda Gates  (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/01/14/us/14foundationCA02ready.html)
Bill and Melinda Gates (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/01/14/us/14foundationCA02ready.html)

Bill Gates has proved to be one of the most selfless and charitable entrepreneur of our era. After stepping down as Microsoft chairman in 2008, Gates declared that “he would work full time on his philanthropic interests. Forbes magazine 2004 estimated that already Gates had given over $24 billion in the 4 years from 2000 to 2004.” Gates has a selfless attitude because instead of lavishly spending his money, willing it away to his relatives, or leaving it to sit in the bank; he uses it to make a change in the world that is good. Bill and Melinda Gates along with Warren Buffett have: “launched their campaign, the Giving Pledge, in June 2010 to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in the United States to commit to giving away at least 50 percent of their wealth to philanthropy”... “As of December 2010, 57 billionaires have joined the campaign. Forbes magazine estimates the charitable contributions will amount to $600 billion” (Newsblaze.com). The most selfless thing that a person can do is encourage generosity and that is what he does by getting other wealthy people to donate their wealth. If Gates and Buffett can succeed in their plans, they could make a huge impact in many humanitarian causes like education and starvation. Gates’ most heroic trait is selflessness.

Gates’ determination led him to becoming a billionaire and his selflessness prompted him to use his fortune to benefit humanity. Without determination he would have not succeeded in his career. He has devoted himself to finding causes and providing them with financial resources, while also inspiring other wealthy people to do the same. His company’s technology helped people use the computer easily and changed everyday life for most people. His foundation has funded thousands of worthy projects in America and around the world. Bill Gates has inspired me and certainly many others to excel at whatever I choose to do in the future and in turn positively impact the lives of others in some way, even if I’m not a billionaire. We may not be able to tell the future, but we can always be ready to act on the change that it brings.

Page created on 1/20/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/20/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Information about Gates' foundation
Microsoft Corporation - Gates' company
The Giving Pledge - Further Info about the
Biography - Gates' life story