Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and noted philanthropist, talked about how he successfully led Microsoft’s growth on an episode of the podcast “Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman.”
Part of Microsoft’s success was its strategic partnership with IBM in its early days.
Gates advises leaders to pick partners “that are highly visible and tough.”
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One of the earliest high-impact decisions Bill Gates made was figuring out how to work with IBM.
It was 1980 and IBM wanted Microsoft to quickly provide the operating system for the 16-bit IBM PC, what would become, in Gates’s estimation, a model for personal computing.
Even though the project was viewed as an experiment, Gates jumped at the opportunity.
“We put so much energy into this thing,” he said on the podcast “Masters of Scale,” hosted by LinkedIn founder, venture capitalist, and startup philosopher Reid Hoffman.
Capitalizing on partnership
Gates was able to move Microsoft into the next generation of personal computing because of that strategic partnership with IBM — Big Blue, an enterprise tech firm before anyone really knew to call it as such. But with the partnership, Microsoft now had an operating system that they were able to market as a separate product.
They had leverage in the dawn of home computing, one that extended beyond the machine and into the software itself that IBM’s competitors were eager to buy. One recent computing historian referred to the partnership, which was formalized nearly 39 years ago to the day, as the date “IBM Signs A Deal With The Devil.”
That devil, of course, was the soon-to-be-gigantic Microsoft.
Learning from one partner in particular: IBM Japan
Beyond being positioned for the latest turn in the industry, Microsoft as a company learned from IBM’s strengths in sales and quality products.
IBM Japan in …read more
Source:: Business Insider