Bill Gates: Life/Lessons Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Bill Gates
Bill Gates – Microsoft

Bill Gates came from an upper-middle class family.  His family encouraged a competitive nature from their children.  Bill and his 2 sisters would play cards competitively often.  At 13, he enrolled in Lakeside School, where he would meet Paul Allen.  After scoring 1590 out of 1600 on the SATs, he was on his way to Harvard College.

Bill Gates followed the computer industry and learned that the Altair computer was coming out with the Intel 8080 processor.  He saw this as the perfect opportunity to start a company.  Him and Allen worked on a BASIC interpreter for the Altair.  Computer hobbyists took the code they created and distributed it.  Bill Gates unsuccessfully requested payment for this.  At this point Bill Gates and Paul Allen decided to name their partnership Microsoft and they had earned the respect of the programming community.  Bill Gates, had also decided to completely withdraw from Harvard University and give his company 100% attention.

In 1980, IBM was looking to revolutionize the computer industry with the creation of the personal computer.  They reached out to Microsoft for the BASIC interpreter.  IBM also needed an operating system and Bill Gates jumped at the opportunity.  Most people probably believe that at that point Microsoft created DOS and the rest is history.  That is partially true.  Bill Gates and Paul Allen were smart enough to create their own Disk Operating System (DOS).  However, IBM had a time-frame and Microsoft knew between creation, testing, and bringing it to market, there was no time.  They reached out to Seattle Computer Products and bought their version of DOS for $50,000.  Then, Bill Gates and Paul Allen fixed that operating system to IBM’s request and sold it to them under a licensing agreement.  The gamble payed off as the PC became popular and other companies started cloning the machine.  All the clones ran MS-DOS.

In 1985, he launched Microsoft Windows.  The operating system had many similarities to Apple‘s Graphical User Interface (GUI) operating system.  Apple took Microsoft to court for these similarities.  The case went on for years until it was ruled that the GUI was a necessary and common to PC users and that no company owned the patent for GUI.

In 1986, the company would go public.  Bill Gates owned 45% of the shares.  By 1987, at the age of 31, Bill Gates would become the youngest Billionaire.  By the age of 39, he was the wealthiest man in the United States.

Geroge Ilian, talks about the failure of Microsoft to take the Internet seriously.  They were slow to react to the popularity and because of it companies like Google would lead the market.  Even harder to digest was Apple’s success with iTunes internet sales and the creation of iPhone to utilize the internet.  Microsoft realized this mistake and tried to make up for it by entering the video game console market.  The XBox series of consoles have done an incredible job.  They have a loyal following and are the only respectable competitors to the Sony Playstation.

One of the most important things that Bill Gates has created is the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.  Influenced by Warren Buffett, this foundation has given away about $28 Billion to charitable causes.

Open Andre Agassi Audible an Amazon company

Andre Agassi - Open
Andre Agassi – Open

With a membership to Amazon Kindle Unlimited you get a 3-month trial of Audible.  Audible has some really good books.  The first book I decided to get from Audible is Andre Agassi‘s Open.

This book begins with Agassi discussing his childhood in Las Vegas.  Based on Andre’s descriptions, his father is a crazy man.  He had built a tennis court in his inexpensive home to have his kid practice all day.  His father had also built a tennis ball machine that Andre Agassi refers to as “the Dragon”.  At 10 years old, Andre is hustling people through tennis.  In one part of the biography he hustles Jim Brown.

Andre Agassi did not want to play tennis, but his father sent him to Nick Bollettieri’s academy when Andre was only 12 years old.  Nick has worked with Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, the Williams Sisters, Anna Kournikova and Boris Becker to name a few.  The camp is described as a prison war camp.  Agassi is rebellious, but he is too skillful in tennis to get kicked out.

Andre Agassi did not have the best relationship with his first wife Brooke Shields.  She’s an actress/model that graduated from an Ivy league school.  Andre is a tennis superstar who doesn’t find much importance in education.  Based on the biography it never seemed to be a great relationship to begin with.  Andre Agassi’s decision to get a divorce seemed to happen shortly after Brooke Shields asked Agassi to stop seeing certain friends because they were no good for him.

Andre’s friends were the most important people in his life.  The two closest individuals to him were his trainer Gil Reyes and his coach Brad Gilbert.  These friends are important to put things into perspective for Agassi.  The one recurring theme that makes the book so interesting is Agassi’s psyche.  He describes tennis as the ultimate war between two individuals.  It’s not a team sport, so the competition becomes very personal.  His father was a former boxer and Andre Agassi describes tennis to boxing.  Beat or be beat down.  He refers to money not being able to buy happiness, but never believing it until he sees it himself.

Agassi soon discovers that he can only find happiness when he is able to help other people.  He also begins a relationship with Steffi Graf.  Unfortunately, Graf is seeing someone else at the time.  However, Agassi is persistent.  Eventually, they do start dating and get married and have children.  Ironically, Graf’s father is similar to Andre’s.  Both father’s are forceful individuals and in the book Agassi discusses how the father’s were very close to exchanging fists.

Agassi’s ultimate charitable contribution is a school that he has built for poor families in Las Vegas to send their kids to.

The book is lengthy, but well written and very entertaining.