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It’s safe to say that just about everyone on the planet is familiar with who Bill Gates is. He’s viewed as an innovative visionary who managed to claw his way to the top of the software industry and make himself the richest man in the world. Despite dropping out of Harvard, Bill Gates, along with partner Paul Allen, created Microsoft and proceeded to make a multibillion-dollar company in just 25 years.

Early Years

Bill Gates didn’t initially set out to become a pioneer in the software industry. In fact, his first encounter with computers didn’t come until he attended Lakeside School, where a local company offered up use of its computer. The rest, as they say, is history.

By the age of 16, Gates and Allen had partnered up to create Traf-O-Data, a computer program that measured traffic flow in the Seattle area.

Harvard Years

Gates went on to Harvard but wasn’t as enthusiastic about his education as he should have been. Instead, he began to get more and more involved with computers. After finding out about the world’s first microcomputer, the Altair 8800, Gates and Allen were inspired to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they eventually started Microsoft.

Over the course of the next few years, the duo continued to work on Microsoft and eventually moved their headquarters to Seattle in 1979.

Finding Success

By 1981, Microsoft’s sales soared from $7.5 million in 1980 to $16 million. Gates and Allen eventually expanded to applications software but faced a threat in 1984 when Apple invented the Macintosh computer. But over the years, Gates continued to work on Microsoft, doing everything he could to make it better.

By the time 1993 came around, Windows was selling at a rate of one million copies per month. The success only continued to grow, with Gates’s personal wealth growing to $90 billion by 1999.

There are essentially two things that contributed to Gates’s success: his ability to hack code, and his drive and determination as a businessman.