In addition to holding the title of the world’s richest man for several decades, Bill Gates revolutionized the computer, and in the process, changed the world. But as a normal human, even Gates has made mistakes and regrets. And because of who he is, Gates’ mistakes don’t just affect him, they affect the world. When you find out his biggest mistake, according to Gate’s own words, it may surprise you.
Bill Gate’s greatest mistake
During his long career as CEO of Microsoft, Gates probably has a lot of stories to tell- those of his success, and those of failure. Just like any normal human Gates has also made his fair share of mistakes. Recently, he told Village Global what he considers his biggest mistake when managing the software giant.
“In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets,” Gates said. “So the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M.”
Bill Gates is still massively successful
If Gates had been able to transform Microsoft into the top handheld device platform, he might still be the richest man in the world. Instead, Gates lost that honor to Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, in 1999.
However, Gates is in no way struggling financially. He was the richest man in the world on-and-off from 1987 to 1999, and now that he no longer has the title, he still has a net worth of over $100 billion. With that kind of money, Gates isn’t likely to be in the poor house anytime soon. He is still massively successful.
How did he make his outstanding fortune? Gates did an amazing job leading Microsoft to become one of the top software companies- and completely redesigning the way we use computers. He dropped out of Harvard to start the company in 1975, with his friend Paul Allen, and the venture took off immediately.
Bill Gates revolutionized the world
Before Gates and Microsoft, there was no personal computer. Back then, computers were giant machines that cost thousands of dollars, took up massive amounts of space, and only did what we would consider now as simple tasks. For the first time in history, Gates reimagined the computer’s potential.
Gates first learned about computers in high school. Returning to the Lakeside School, a private institution in Seattle, to give a speech in 2005, Gates shared some insight. “The experience and insight Paul Allen and I gained here gave us the confidence to start a company based on this wild idea that nobody else agreed with- that computer chips were going to become so powerful that computers and software would become a tool that would be on every desk and in every home,” he said.
Can you imagine if Gates had never been interested in computers? Our world would have been completely different. When Gates and his partner Allen redesigned the computer to be used in a personal way, creating the PC, they set the path for everything that came later — cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, all of the amazing and tiny computer devices that we have today. Would any of it have happened if Gates had never developed the personal computer? Luckily, we don’t have to find out.