Management strategy by billionaires
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Bill Gates management path:
From Microsoft’s founding in 1975 until 2006, Gates had primary responsibility for the company’s product strategy. He gained a reputation for being distant from others; as early as 1981 an industry executive complained in public that “Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls. Another executive recalled that he showed Gates a game and defeated him 35 of 37 times. When they met again a month later, Gates “won or tied every game. He had studied the game until he solved it. That is a competitor.
Gates was an executive who met regularly with Microsoft’s senior managers and program managers. In firsthand accounts of these meetings, the managers described him being verbally combative. He also berated managers for perceived holes in their business strategies or proposals that placed the company’s long-term interests at risk. He interrupted presentations with such comments as “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” and “Why don’t you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps? The target of his outburst then had to defend the proposal in detail until, hopefully, Gates was fully convinced. When subordinates appeared to be procrastinating, he was known to remark sarcastically, I’ll do it over the weekend.
During Microsoft’s early history, Gates was an active software developer, particularly in the company’s programming language products, but his basic role in most of the company’s history was primarily as a manager and executive. Gates has not officially been on a development team since working on the TRS-80 Model 100, but as late as 1989 he wrote code that shipped with the company’s products.
He remained interested in technical details; in 1985, Jerry Pournelle wrote that when he watched Gates announce Microsoft Excel, “Something else impressed me. Bill Gates likes the program, not because it’s going to make him a lot of money (although I’m sure it will do that), but because it’s a neat hack.
On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that over the next two years he would transition out of his day-to-day role to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors when he placed Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.
Bill Gates Luxury life:
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The company was founded as a result of what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos called his “regret minimization framework,” which described his efforts to fend off any regrets for not participating sooner in the Internet business boom during that time. In 1994, Bezos left his employment as vice-president of D. E. Shaw & Co., a Wall Street firm, and moved to Seattle, Washington. He began to work on a business plan for what would eventually become Amazon.com.
On July 5, 1994, Bezos incorporated the company as Cadabra, Inc.Bezos changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc. a few months later, after a lawyer misheard its original name as “cadaver”. In September 1994, Bezos purchased the URL Relentless.com and briefly considered naming his online store Relentless, but friends told him the name sounded a bit sinister. The domain is still owned by Bezos and still redirects to the retailer. The company went online as Amazon.com in 1995.
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different”, just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest in the world. Bezos placed a premium on his head start in building a brand and told a reporter, “There’s nothing about our model that can’t be copied over time. But you know, McDonald’s got copied. And it still built a huge, multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name. Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical world.” Additionally, a name beginning with “A” was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was alphabetized.
After reading a report about the future of the Internet that projected annual Web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print. Amazon was founded in the garage of Bezos’ home in Bellevue, Washington.
The company began as an online bookstore, which was an idea spurred off with a discussion with John Ingram of Ingram Book (now called Ingram Content Group), along with Keyur Patel who still holds a stake in Amazon. Amazon was able to access books at wholesale from Ingram. In the first two months of business, Amazon sold to all 50 states and over 45 countries. Within two months, Amazon’s sales were up to $20,000/week. While the largest brick and mortar bookstores and mail order catalogs might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could “carry” several times more, since it would have a practically unlimited virtual (not actual) warehouse: those of the actual product makers/suppliers.
Jobs and Wozniak attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975. In 1976, Wozniak invented the Apple I computer and showed it to Jobs, who suggested that they sell it. Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne formed Apple Computer in the garage of Jobs’s Los Altos home on Crist Drive. Wayne stayed only a short time, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the active primary cofounders of the company. A neighbor on Crist Drive recalled Jobs as an odd individual who would greet his clients “with his underwear hanging out, barefoot and hippie-like.” Another neighbor, Larry Waterland, who had just earned his PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford, recalled dismissing Jobs’s budding business: ” ‘You punched cards, put them in a big deck,’ he said about the mainframe machines of that time. ‘Steve took me over to the garage. He had a circuit board with a chip on it, a DuMont TV set, a Panasonic cassette tape deck and a keyboard. He said, ‘This is an Apple computer.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to be joking.’
I dismissed the whole idea.’ Jobs’s friend from Reed College and India, Daniel Kottke, recalled that he “was the only person who worked in the garage … Woz would show up once a week with his latest code. Steve Jobs didn’t get his hands dirty in that sense.” Kottke also stated that much of the early work took place in Jobs’s kitchen, where he spent hours on the phone trying to find investors for the company.
They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula. Scott McNealy, one of the cofounders of Sun Microsystems, said that Jobs broke a “glass age ceiling” in Silicon Valley because he’d created a very successful company at a young age.
In 1977, Jobs and Wozniak introduced the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire. It was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer and was one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, It was designed primarily by Steve Wozniak. Jobs oversaw the development of the Apple II’s unusual case and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply.
Jobs usually went to work wearing a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by Issey Miyake (it was sometimes reported as St. Croix brand), Levi’s 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 991 sneakers. He said his choice was inspired by that of Stuart Geman, a noted applied mathematics professor at Brown University. Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson “…he came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style.”
Jobs and Apple became more successful, and his relationship with Brennan grew more complex. In 1977, the success of Apple was now a part of their relationship, and Brennan, Daniel Kottke, and Jobs moved into a house near the Apple office in Cupertino.[
Jobs was worth a million dollars when he was 23 in 1978, 10 million when he was 24, and over 100 million when he was 25. He was also one of the youngest “people ever to make the Forbes list of the nation’s richest people – and one of only a handful to have done it themselves, without inherited wealth.”
In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment in the two top floors of The San Remo, a Manhattan building with a politically progressive reputation. Although he never lived there,he spent years renovating it with the help of I. M. Pei. In 2003, he sold it to U2 singer Bono.
In 1984, Jobs bought the Jackling House and estate, and resided there for a decade. After that, he leased it out for several years until 2000 when he stopped maintaining the house, allowing exposure to the weather to degrade it. In 2004, Jobs received permission from the town of Woodside to demolish the house in order to build a smaller contemporary styled one. After a few years in court, the house was finally demolished in 2011, a few months before he died.
Sculley’s and Jobs’s respective visions for the company greatly differed. The former favored open architecture computers like the Apple II, sold to education, small business, and home markets less vulnerable to IBM. Jobs wanted the company to focus on the closed architecture Macintosh as a business alternative to the IBM PC. President and CEO Sculley had little control over chairman of the board Jobs’s Macintosh division; it and the Apple II division operated like separate companies, duplicating services. Although its products provided 85% of Apple’s sales in early 1985, the company’s January 1985 annual meeting did not mention the Apple II division or employees. Many left including Wozniak, who stated that the company had “been going in the wrong direction for the last five years” and sold most of his stock. The Macintosh’s failure to defeat the PC strengthened Sculley’s position in the company.