The Project focuses on the Entrepreneurship of Bill Gates in building Microsoft as the world’s leading company in PC software. He is not only considered as world’s brilliant business magnate but according to the world’s wealthiest title holder, he ranks in the top in Forbes Magazine. Though Gates is criticized by many for his tactics used in business still his tactics proves to overrule the controversies. Thus it must be an interesting fact to know about how the entrepreneur established himself as one of the most powerful entrepreneur in the world. The study goes deeper into the role of Bill Gates for his company, certain traits that helped the organization to reach its goals.
As the company slowly progressed in its business, how Bill Gates fulfilled the necessary social responsibilities and how he maintained the business ethics is a remarkable journey to explain.
Bill Gates original name was William Henry Gates III, son of William H. Gates II, who was a Seattle attorney. He belonged to a well educated and social family. His late mother Mrs. Mary Maxwell Gates was the Chairwoman of United way International and faculty of Washington University. At the age of 13, he registered his name in Lakeside School. In eight grades at the Lakeside School, Bill Gates got introduced to computers for the first time. Gates showed his interest in programming the General Electronic system, in popular programming language of that time BASIC. In order to follow his interest, he was allowed to be excused from his math’s class. His first effort in computer program was an execution of tic-tac-toe that allowed computer users to play games in the machine. He used to implement software codes easily and perfectly. Along with Gates, his peers also used to find time on systems that included PDP DEC in mini computers.
Around January 1975, Gates spoke to the creators of MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) to aware that he along with others was working for the platform on Basic Interpreter, in order to boost their interest (Wallace and Erickson, 1992). A demonstration about an Altair emulator turned out to be successful. Bill Gates took a leave from Harvard (his graduate School) and along with Allen and named their partnership as “Micro-Soft”, located at Alburquerque. After that Bill Gates decided to leave Harvard. Later in 1976, Microsoft became an independent entity from MITS and proceeded to develop software applications for computers.
Similar to most start-ups, the company also had a vision of making computers available everywhere and every people must have access to computers. In 1980, Microsoft was approaches by IBM to work on a project named “Chess” to which Microsoft began focusing on a newer concept of operating system that served as a bridge to the gap between computer programs and computer hardware (Eisenach and Lenard, 1999). This program later was called MS-DOS. Since then the company diversified into many other products and did many projects in an alliance with other companies. The innovation went on as a process and today Microsoft has taken over popular and perhaps the first popular mobile phones “Nokia”.
With the flourishing business of Microsoft, the business progress also contributed in economic development of the country. It would be fair to consider how Microsoft made an impact in every sphere. The company is presently earning revenue of US$86.83 billion having employees more than 128,000 worldwide. The company earns a net income of US$22.07 billion. Microsoft has offices in 112 countries and out of all labor force worldwide, 57% of its labor force belonged to United States. With is number of employees employed and its revenue the company supports the infrastructure of the Economy of USA.
The direct impact is the compensation of employees it is not only for USA but for each and every country where Microsoft is operating. It has been found that Microsoft pays 33% above market rate and the employers 13% above market (Jennings, 1999). Hence in general the compensation is very much higher in comparison with other companies. The competitive nature of the company helps the economy to a great extent (Glader, 2006). It is because with the efforts to top the market the competitors also contribute to the economy. Giant companies like Google, IBM, Apple, and Oracle maintains a tough competition in the market.
Following table shows the annual report of Microsoft for 2014.
Revenue (in $)
Operating Income (in $)
Net Income (in $)
(annual report, 2015)
Bill Gates emphasized the significance execution and clarity of thoughts. He never moved from his subject where he was excellent at. He chased the objective of supremacy over operating system and software’s. He always felt the higher degree of risk that entrepreneur faces while venturing into unaccustomed grounds (Gregory, 2013). Bill Gates always had this keenness to achieve his targets. In general the role of an entrepreneur is to run his business successfully with the help of of certain characteristics. They are:
Bill Gates belonged to an educated family. After scoring 1590 out of 1600, on SAT, he opted for Harvard University for further studies. But his nature of constant innovation made him continue to work with software applications.
There are certain traits that an entrepreneur should posses, for Bill Gates the traits were
His intelligence: Bill Gates always understood the significance of understanding the opportunity. In 1980 Gates grabbed the opportunity of creating software for IBM to which he and his friend Allen created MS-DOS. He made deals with the software developers to agree to license Microsoft as their sole licensed agent for software application.
His ambitious nature: Gates was ambitious and passionate about his business. He identified the scope for expansion for his company and profitability of his business (Jennings, 1999).
His Tenacity: According to Cantillon’s Theory an entrepreneur is an agent who takes risk in order to equalize the demand and supply in the economy (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2004). This concept was of 1755 but very much universal in approach.
To start a business with a very new concept is a big challenge. Success can never be achieved in one day. Bill Gates saw many ups and downs in Microsoft. There was a time when the company was suffering because of hackers creating a pirated version of Microsoft windows (Mitchellette, 2008). Not only that, Microsoft Zune was a huge failure to the company while competing with Apple (McDonald, Smith and Ward, n.d.). He was also a very hard working man, he use to work all night long irrespective of the idea whether the outcomes would be positive (Rogak, 2012).
Self- Belief: Bill Gates was passionate about computer software. He had a self-belief of pursuing his career as an entrepreneur to which he dared to drop out from Harvard University. It was a big step because Harvard is a reputed Institute and every student has their dreams to get an opportunity to study in Harvard (Aronson, 2009).
In psychological theories of Entrepreneurship, it concentrates on the emotional traits that drives an individual to entrepreneurship (Mishra and Zachary, 2014). Psychologist David McCLelland stated that entrepreneurs hold a requirement of achievement that forces their activities.
Vision: according to Opportunity based theory, Peter Drucker explained entrepreneurs excel at taking advantage of potentials that are created by cultural, technological and social changes (Shane, 2003). This is one of the remarkable traits that Bill Gates has. Bill Gates Knew it from the beginning that computer would play an important protagonist in future. He had the ability to inspect opportunities that will give a successful result.
An entrepreneur is not necessarily a good leader. A company requires different talents and skills to bring from a start-up business to a successful enterprise (Shane, 2003). For that the entrepreneur must have the ability to hire the appropriate talent for the appropriate job that will help in successful business operation. A leader leads the organization, but they are not responsible for the shutdown of the company (Lussier and Achua, 2004). Even managers could be leaders, but managers are not the risk bearers like the entrepreneur.
A decision maker: a leader has to be a good decision maker irrespective of time, place or situation. Bill Gates spends 6 hours a day in his office, where he regularly visits. He attends every board meeting and gives his views and makes decision that is best suited for his company. There are many decisions that he had to take, and necessarily they had to have good outcomes. To decide tactfully is what the founder of Microsoft founder had to do every day.
Ability to track opportunities: This is also an important trait of an Entrepreneur. It is very clearly established that without a clear vision Bill Gates wouldn’t have been able to reach this far. His ability to track opportunities inspired to reach this far.
Team player: a leader leads a team; he takes the responsibility of his team of workers (Kets de Vries, 2009). A leader is a people’s person; he must possess the basic quality of caring about his people. His philanthropic nature and responsibility towards the society makes him followed by people. A team player motivates his workers, so does bill gates. There were several hardships that Microsoft faced, but with the motivational power and the problem solving ability Bill Gates managed bring Microsoft come out of it.
Communication skills: Bill Gates gives a continuous effort to increase his communication skills despite being the world’s richest man. Gates likes to increase his knowledge as many times as he can, he believe it is very important to acquire knowledge from every subject.
The “garage start-up” of Bill Gates and Paul Allen never knew in its initial phase, what was going to be its future, twenty years down the line. The growth of Microsoft is remarkable in history. It made Microsoft the fastest mounting company and listed Bill Gates as one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world. The reason for the growth was Gates`s excellence in creating a leap toward personal computing. Microsoft developed software. Ballmer and Gates were running a commercial business in a competitive market without any insight and much experience on business. The wave that changed the whole view came when they started making DOS (disc operating system) it was their biggest quest in retaining in a market. At the same time, IBM was developing its first computer, which needed an operating system to operate itself. IBM approached Microsoft in a view to develop operating system but till that time Microsoft had not started developing operating systems. IBM was then directed towards CPM, a giant in the market then. However, the deal could not strike because of the cultural clash of both the countries. Bill Gates developed bought an operating system for fifty thousand dollars and gave the licence to use it to IBM for eighty thousand dollars and a deal was signed between IBM and Microsoft. Microsoft licensed it to different companies. Microsoft could demand any amount in the market for its operating systems. It was like a pass for all the personal computers. Without operating systems it was not possible for the companies to make the experience of personal computing more exciting. Since then, Microsoft started working on new projects and found new ways to reproduce a business model that would generate good revenues. It started branching out in various other products (Gates, 2008). All the products gave a wonderful experience to personal computing. Microsoft had constantly focussed on devices that connected 700 million people round the globe. The main reason of the growth of Microsoft was the conscious mind of Bill Gates, he has always looked up with a positive mind towards all the opportunities and availed them at the right time. The first opportunity that knocked his door was when he prepared a programme for the Altair microcomputer for MITS. The second was when IBM approached Microsoft for operating systems. Clutching the best opportunities at the right time is the trait of a good businessperson. He explored the opportunities to the core with great hard work and this helped him climbing the ladders to success. Believing in one`s own dream to start his own business is what makes an entrepreneur a successful businessman. The success to ladder is not easy to climb. An entrepreneur has to have a lot of patience to see success. He fulfils the theory of opportunity-based entrepreneurship; this theory brings out the opportunity-grabbing trait of an entrepreneur (Stearns, 2014).
Bill Gates has done which makes him the most recognized man on earth. He has been named as the world`s richest man many times by various organizations. The activities that his organization has incorporated all over the globe is commendable (Technology Entreprenuership and Policy: In Memory of Bruce A. Kirchhoff, 2011). Apart from the assets that the company has earned, many things make Bill Gates known globally. He became a billionaire at the age of 31 and he bid goodbye to the company in the year 2008 and became a full time philanthropist. The bill and Melinda gates foundation is one of the world`s largest foundations that fight for many causes in the world. The foundation works globally and there are many countries, which are in the purview of the foundation (Yamada, 2009).
He was born to a lawyer father and a teacher mother. His passion was for developing soft wares and doing business (The Economist, 2015). He was tech savvy from his early childhood, he wrote his first computer programme at the age of 13 (allen, 2015). He was a genius and he had a SAT score of 1590 out of 1600, which meant a IQ level of 170 (GATES, 2015). He met the co-founder of the company Paul Allen in school. The notable things about bill gates are that in the year 1975 the company generated revenue of 16000 billion, the next year the company made a profit of 22000 dollars, the company was doing loss but Gates did not lose hope and continued with the business (Gavai, 2010). He has a great ability to grow a business. Gates hires (Gates and Rogak, 2012)the best people as his employees and rewards them well with high salaries(Allen, 2011). There were thousands of backlashes that the company faced but the company moved till the end with the help of its motivated employees. Managing and retaining a company whose growth is 600% is an incredible achievement. He is named as the one of the 100 most influential people of the world in the tear 2004, 2005, 2006. He has received the honorary knighthood from the queen of England. His contribution to the world has a lot to talk about (Kovacs, 2011).
Queen Elizabeth (ii) honoured this great entrepreneur with the honorary Knighthood. His illustrious life has a long story to tell, Times magazine named him as one of the most influential man of the previous century. The government of Mexico recognized Gates and his wife with the Aztec Eagle (gates, 2015). This award is received in Mexico for a developmental contribution made by any foreigner. He has authored two books “The road ahead” and the speed of thought. He donated the royalties from these books to various non-profit organizations. The accomplishment that he has made in the recent years was after the establishments of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Since 2011, the company has made a contribution of 3.6 billion dollars toward global development (Isaacs, 2010).
Ethics in business is a very vital thing. These ethical implications of their actions start with a careful thought to ensure that the company is behaving with responsibilities. A huge business giant like Microsoft is known worldwide for its values and ethics (gates, 2015). These list of ethics include good relationship with employees, relationship with other business groups. The ethical awareness of the company is so high that they encourage their employees to volunteer at local schools and create an interest for technology in them (gates, 2014). The company is ranked as the highest paid company in America and in addition to the salaries they give their employees a handful perk and a 100% coverage on their health care insurance (Birn, 2014). Bill gates have played many roles in his life. Apart from being a huge business tycoon, Gates is a great social worker with a heart to serve the world and make it a better place (Bygrave and Zacharakis, 2008). He is a motivator, he has been motivating a lot of students and new entrepreneurs through his lectures and books. The contribution of Gates in different directions is huge and there is nothing that anyone can claim unethical towards the company. Budding entrepreneurs are the people who create opportunities for the other people of the society. They create jobs and help the economy in growing. Therefore, creating entrepreneurs and motivating them to follow their dreams is what Bill Gates taught the world (Demuth and Hammond, n.d.).
Entrepreneurship is something that includes many virtues. These virtues include patience, perseverance, and the ability to analyse. The study on world`s` biggest business tycoon Bill Gates brings out the true meaning of an entrepreneurship. His start as an entrepreneur, his achievements, and international goals has encouraged many others in the world. Microsoft rose to all the heights of success and that happened only because of the insight that Bill Gates has.
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