Bill Gates is today the second richest person in the world. His net worth is estimated at $93 billion. That’s a lot of money. In fact, if Gates decides to give everyone in the world $10, he would still have $20 billion left. It tells you a lot about how wealthy the man is. Gates was the youngest ever self-made billionaire at the age of 31. He held this title until 2008 when he was dethroned by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg who was 23 at the time.
So, how does such a wealthy person spend all that money? Well, as you would imagine, he has a lot of expenses but even then, much of his money goes towards helping the world. The future was always bright for Gates though since when he was still young. At the age of 17, he sold his first computer program to a private high school. It was a simple timetabling system that went for $4,200 at the time.
In 1975, Gates teamed up with his childhood friend Paul Allen to launch Microsoft. Five years later, the company developed an operating system for IBM’s first personal computer. The system was known as MS-DOS and it soon became one of the most profitable products ever released by Microsoft. MS-DOS has evolved ever since to Windows and it’s the main operating system in practically all computers around the world.
The first time Microsoft went public, the company had a value of $61 million. Gates made $1.6 million selling his shares during the IPO and his remaining 45% stake in the company shot up in value to hit $350 million. By the time he was 30, Bill Gates was already one of the wealthiest people in the world. In 1990, Microsoft released Microsoft Office, another massive success. Office went on to become highly profitable too and is one of the most popular computer software at the moment.
Gates would later become the richest man in the world when Windows 95 launched. He held that position until 2008 when Warren Buffet knocked him off. Buffet held the title too for some time before Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, finally took over. But despite that, Gates still remained one of the richest people in the world. In fact, at the height of the Dotcom boom, Gates fortune at some point shot up way beyond $100 billion in 1999.
But it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Microsoft has had its own share of challenges. In the 2000s, in particular, the company went through a number of upheavals including the resignation of Gates as its CEO. But ever since, it has really picked up. In 2018, Microsoft was able to hit $100 billion in revenue for the first time. It ended 2018 as the world’s most valuable company, beating off Amazon and Apple in the process. At the moment, Gates owns about 1% of his Microsoft stock. The rest has been donated to charity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Gates and his wife, is the largest private charitable foundation in the world.