OnInnovation: Visionaries thinking out loud. A video oral history project advancing a culture of innovation powered by The Henry Ford.
Obsessively dedicated to computing and software since his student days, Bill Gates became galvanized by the advent of an early personal computer, the Altair, which appeared in 1975. His passion for seeing what the computer could do was so great, in fact, that he took a leave of absence from Harvard and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of MITS, the Altair's parent company, to write code for it. Capitalizing on this initial success, Gates and his team went on to write the programs in BASIC for the IBM PC that proved instrumental in launching the personal computing revolution.
Beyond being a talented and dedicated programmer, Bill Gates was always interested in the idea of software as intellectual property—as something that could be licensed and commercialized. Additionally, while keen on the promise of home computing he also wanted to put software at the service of large- and small-scale enterprises. Beyond his own business interests, Gates was truly inspired by the proliferation of software applications built on the company’s operating systems, and their potential to improve lives and livelihoods across every category of business.
Computer geeks everywhere can look to Bill Gates as a role model. The phenomenal success of Microsoft, the company he founded, helped to turn the software engineer into a new kind of cultural hero. He focused on software at a time when many computer companies were still developing software and hardware in tandem.
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Why We Love This Innovator
Education and Curiosity
with Bill GatesLength: 2:42
Education and American Innovation
with Bill GatesLength: 2:35
Innovation Solves Problems
with Bill GatesLength: 1:31
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Director of Media
and Film Relations
Chief Marketing Officer
Chief Learning Officer
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