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Bill Gates

  1. Dec 18, 2009 #1
    why did he see things that those computer scientists/researchers didnt back in 70's?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2009 #2


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    He didn't "see" anything in particular. There were plenty of people around at the time doing more or less the same thing as him (and he wasn't alone, Allen is the one who convinced Gates to join Microsoft).
    It is just that Gates is a better businessman than most.
  4. Dec 18, 2009 #3
    okay,but where could we find the next bill gates ideas at these days?
  5. Dec 18, 2009 #4


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    My guess would be in molecular biology.
  6. Dec 18, 2009 #5
    i look at the biographies of those computer boom entrepreneurs and most of them graduated with a master degree.Perhaps those leading technology researchers will have the greatest chance to be the next bill gates nowadays?
  7. Dec 18, 2009 #6


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    The idea that made Bill Gates rich wasn't a technological one. It was a business idea of selling software as a product by itself. There was nothing particularly innovative from a technological standpoint that I can think of. There was plenty from a business standpoint.

    I would say that today Microsoft is far more technologically innovative than it was 25 years ago.

    Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were college drop outs.
  8. Dec 18, 2009 #7
    what about printable solar cell from nanosolar and nano-scale lithium ion battery from a123 systems??those require people who have a researching experience to commercialize such kind of product,right?
  9. Dec 18, 2009 #8
    They require people who have researching experience to develop the products. They require business people to commercialize it. GE, for example, is a significant shareholder in A123 and is helping with the commercialization and growth of the company (and the research actually).


    That's not to say that one person can't be both a business person and a researcher, but they are wearing different hats when they are doing each. Researchers, as researchers, don't do commercialization. They do research.
  10. Dec 19, 2009 #9


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    And in particular, more persistent.

    IIRC, he flogged his "DOS" product relentlessly, visiting every office he could, wheeling his demo around to show people, and didn't give up until people started buying it.
  11. Dec 19, 2009 #10
    Bill Gates is one of my all time heros along with his wife.

  12. Dec 19, 2009 #11
    By "his DOS" you mean the version Microsoft bought from the QDOS developers and modified slightly, right :tongue:?
  13. Dec 19, 2009 #12
    Inventors of the Modern Computer

    Here's an excerpt from "The History of the MS-DOS Operating Systems, Microsoft, Tim Paterson, and Gary Kildall" by Mary Bellis

  14. Dec 19, 2009 #13


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    Yes - in one of the greatest business deals of alltime (from MS's standpoint...).
  15. Dec 19, 2009 #14
    I highly encourage viewers to explore the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - All Lives Have Equal Value. Their foundation has reached heights that few people have accomplished.
    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Pages/overview.aspx [Broken]

    2009 Annual Letter
    from Bill Gates

    I can't begin to express my gratitude for Bill and Melinda and their dynamic team that continue to help people throughout the globe.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  16. Dec 19, 2009 #15


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    Before getting quite so misty eyed, remember the Gates foundation is a way of not paying tax, it gives away 5% of it's income each year and invests the other 95%. That's about what most small business in the area contribute to charity an less than someone like REI or MEC.

    Ironically Microsoft own investment arm scores higher in ethical investing rankings than the Gates foundation - after it famously invested more in oil and gas companies in Africa than it did in treating the diseases their pollution was allegedly causing. Although the Gates foundation's investments are slightly more profitable than MSFT's.

    And that's even if you believe that India cancelling it's plans to switch to open source software for government use immediately after a big donation from the foundation was a complete coincidence.
  17. Dec 19, 2009 #16


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    IBM used an "open architecture" approach when designing and promoting its PCs. This encouraged software developers to write applications that would run on their little machines, increasing demand for them. When clone-makers jumped in and started stealing IBM's lunch selling hardware, prices came down, computers started selling like hot-cakes, and Gates did even better. Smarts, perseverance, and a "perfect storm" of falling hardware prices...
  18. Dec 19, 2009 #17
    Bill gates got his fortune getting people to buy an OS.

    Google got their fortune getting companies to buy adds in bulk. (Although having a nice search engine to pump them out didn't hurt.)

    Starbucks got their fortune by creating a trendy place to drink coffee and convincing people it was worth it.

    It's not about the technology or having a better product, it's about convincing people they need to buy something over and over again.

    Remember that the next time your kids want to go to Mcdonalds.
  19. Dec 19, 2009 #18


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    Overly simplified.
  20. Dec 19, 2009 #19
    Celebrities make lots of money but what kind of services they produce?
  21. Dec 19, 2009 #20


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    Entertainment. Is this a trick question?
  22. Dec 20, 2009 #21
    Its a game of team work that he made called as ultimate brain team.
  23. Dec 20, 2009 #22
    Don’t assume I’m misty eyed. I’m keep my eyes wide open. Your statement about Gates foundation is a way of not paying tax is bogus. Obviously, you didn’t read about the foundation charities. I think your argument against the Foundation is unfounded. And a bitter one at that! Perhaps you should thoroughly read about the foundation by exploring the many links found within it. Bill Gates and his wife are billionaires. They freely give away money. Money to help the poor and uneducated, etc. Coincidences? Nah. Bill Gates could take his billons and make interest off of it rather than donate his money. What I believe is not always what you think I believe. (tee-hee)

    If you think Microsoft isn't still part of Bill Gates then you are mistaken. Your 'allegedly causing' hasn't been scientifically connected to the foundation or Microsoft.

    Let me say this, have you ever been around the poorest of poor? I have. It takes love and money to help them. I kid you not.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  24. Apr 16, 2010 #23
    There is more to making it big in Silicon valley than just a good idea and good marketing skills. A lot of good ideas sank down because of the incorrect timing. Once I had an interview with a top notch executive . He told me a story about how he took 2 years off from the company to launch his own start-up. His idea was very similar to "youtube", where he was recording live concerts, etc. and putting them on the net. I don't doubt his business abilities, but his start-up didn't take off due to dot-com bubble burst. The lesson here is that while many people had similar ideas before and after Bill Gates, he had the opportunity to implement it at the most appropriate time.​

  25. Apr 24, 2010 #24
    What made Gates "the only os provider" for PCs was how it was marketed.
    He practically gave it away to machine makers and then sold "updates" to the end users. That killed all competition and all the software developers had to support MS OSs or go out of business. After the death of his "wholesale option" due to congressional intervention it was already too late - He already had the market all to himself.
    Personally I believe that has held back the development of the PC but it has kept the price down. An equitable trade? Time will tell.

    If I wanted to market a product I would want someone like BG to do the marketing but I do think it has hurt the development.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  26. Apr 24, 2010 #25
    He was just lucky. IBM needed an operating system, he bluffed he had one, they believed him and he sort of scratched some things together from other sources.

    Most businessmen are lucky in the end, then retroactively their ideas are called 'visionaires' or 'brilliant' while they could've just as easily failed.
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