from Fortune 500 magazine 2012 enhanced by Peter@ Wiz4.biz 7/13
Stanford grads Dave Packard & Bill Hewlett co-founded Hewlett-Packard in 1939 and it eventually became a mainstay of Silicon Valley. The company, which began in a “now famous” rented garage with just $538, grew quickly. HP went from selling Radio & TV broadcast companies a popular device to set signal frequencies, to developing an ever-growing product line that included the first pocket-sized calculators and the first mini-computer.
In 1976, Steve Wozniak, who was an intern at the time, built a prototype for the first personal computer. HP passed on Wozniak’s offer but they gave him the rights to his idea – which later became Apple computer.
Packard’s Pearls. In the ’90s, when the company faltered, Packard came out of retirement briefly, to push the company to offer computers & printers at a more affordable price. The company eventually expanded around the world and acquired PC-maker Compaq. “For Silicon Valley, HP was not only the founding firm, but the embodiment of enlightened management, endless innovation and unimpeachable quality,” Packard said. “The company is one of the great technical innovators, and also the greatest corporate cultural innovator. Think employee stock options, flex-time, management by objective, profit sharing – all were either invented or validated by the HP Way.”
Microsoft’s Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard when he saw a “once in a lifetime” opportunity and started it with his friend, Paul Allen, more than three decades ago. The duo – who met in prep school – developed software for the first micro-computers, hence the name Microsoft. When IBM approached Gates in the early ’80s to create software for their PCs, Gates bought an operating system that would run on their computers, enhanced it and dubbed it MS-DOS. Microsoft then licensed to other companies as well, turning a large profit.
Opening Windows. In the mid-’80s, facing competition from other companies, Gates developed Windows – an operating system with a graphical user interface. Eventually, Microsoft became the world’s largest software business, leading Gates to become one of the richest men in the world [#1 in USA].
Giving Back. By 2008, PCs with Microsoft SW had become totally dominant in offices & homes around the World. Bill Gates left an active role in management, to focus on philanthropy. Gates’ new passion, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is dedicated to improving global health. The foundation gave out more than $2 billion in grants in 2010 and controls more than $37 billion. In 2012, the #2 richest man in USA, Warren Buffett, gave the Foundation $1.5B, because he was impressed with how well managed the Foundation was. [Just one of the many talents of Bill Gates.]
(Continued with Marc Andreessen [1st Web browsers Mosaic & Netscape, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, & Wozniak, Inventor of the 1st Apple Computer in the next Premium Content)