The one thing that you must have heard over and over about Bill Gates is that he is the richest man in the world. It’s indeed true and he has held the coveted top spot for 18 out of the past 23 years. But is that all that is out there that we need to know about him. Here are 7 facts that you may have never heard about Bill Gates.
#1 – The Only School in the U.S. with a Computer
Bill Gates went to Lakeside Prep School, a private school in the Seattle, Washington, where he wrote a version of tic-tac-toe, a game that you could play against a computer.
Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But did you know that the private school he attended was the only school in the United States with a computer at that time? That school played a crucial role in Bill Gates’ future because it was also the place where he met Paul Allen, with whom he later founded Microsoft.
“Lakeside was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” Gates said in a speech he gave at the school in 2005.
“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. “If there had been no Lakeside, there would have been no Microsoft.”
#2 – Millionaire at…
Gates almost achieved his goal of being a millionaire by the age of 30. He became a millionaire at 31.
#3 – Predicted the Rise of Netflix and Facebook
Bill Gates predicted the rise of Facebook and Netflix way back in 1994, when lot of people did not even know about computers and less than 0.5% of people around the world had access to the internet.
In an interview to Playboy Magazine in 1994, Gates said:
“Say you want to watch a movie. To choose, you’ll want to know what movies others liked and, based on what you thought of other movies you’ve seen, if this is a movie you’d like. You’ll be able to browse that information. Then you select and get video on demand. Afterward, you can even share what you thought of the movie.”
Well, that’s exactly what Netflix is doing now capturing more than 100 million users around the world to watch their videos on demand.
How about this:
“Think about how you find people with common interests, how you pick a doctor, how you decide what book to read. Right now it’s hard to reach out to a broad range of people. You are tied into the physical community near you. But in the new environment, because of how information is stored and accessed, that community will expand. This tool will be empowering, the infrastructure will be built quickly and the impact will be broad.”
Whatever he said sounds eerily close to how Facebook went about doing its business nearly ten years after he said it.
#4 – Robots will Take Away Jobs from Humans
What is Bill Gates’s next prediction?
He believes that telemarketers, accountants, auditors and retail salespeople will all become obsolete in 20 years as robots take over their jobs. That view is shared by many experts, and a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute conducted across 46 countries and 800 occupations concluded that 800 million jobs could be disrupted by robot automation by the year 2030. That’s almost 20% of the entire global workforce!
#5 – My Kids Will Only Get $10 Million Each
Despite his immense wealth, Bill Gates says his kids will only inherit $10 million each — just a fraction of his $90.8 billion net worth. “Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” he says.
Other billionaires who share the same view include Warren Buffett, George Lucas (ever heard of Star Wars?), Mark Zuckerberg, Sting and Jackie Chan.
#6 – The Giving Pledge
In 2009, Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. As of 2017, the pledge has 158 signatories. Most of the signatories of the pledge are of course billionaires, and their pledges total over $365 billion.
#7 – How Much Bill Gates Values Reading
Gates says he reads 50 books a year. That’s nearly a book a week.
“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding,” he says.
And here’s your bonus!
Ever wondered why we use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to shut down the computer, something that could have easily be done with a single button. Bill Gates answered that question during a Q and A at Harvard: It was a mistake. (And now the whole world has gotten used to it.)
“So we could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t want to give us our single button. And so we had, we programmed at a low level that you had to… It was a mistake.” – Bill Gates