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How Bill Gates Went From Childhood Nerd to Multi-Billionaire

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Today, we know Bill Gates for his philanthropy and a massive $84.9 billion fortune.

However, fewer people remember his younger days. From hacking early computers at the age of 13 to his love-hate relationship with Steve Jobs, here is how Gates went from childhood nerd to a multi-billionaire.

The Bill Gates Story

Today’s infographic is from Adioma, and it visualizes the career of Bill Gates from his earliest days until his latest philanthropy efforts.

How Bill Gates Went From Childhood Nerd to Multi-Billionaire

Image courtesy of: Adioma

The story of Bill Gates is loaded with examples of hard work, controversy, money, bravado, and even accusations of betrayal.

Key Moments

Here is the lowdown on some of the key moments of his life so far.

Love-Hate Relationships
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are a classic example of “frenemies”. At times they were friends, and at other times they were fierce rivals that said some pretty nasty things.

One of the most memorable moments? In 1997, Microsoft invested money in Apple to keep the struggling company afloat. Gates appeared on the screen during Jobs’ keynote talk at the MacWorld conference, and the audience booed.

See a great summary of the key moments of the complex Gates-Jobs relationship here.

The Microsoft Antitrust Case
Initiated in 1998, Microsoft was accused of becoming a monopoly and engaging in anti-competitive practices by the U.S. government and 20 states.

The ruling from 2000 called for a split of Microsoft, creating two separate companies. One half would house the Windows operating system, and the second half would produce other software. However, Microsoft appealed – and in the end, it didn’t really matter, as other companies like Apple started to eat away at Windows’ market share anyways.

Becomes Richest Man
At age 31, Gates took the title of the world’s youngest billionaire – and at 39, he became the world’s richest person with a fortune of $12.9 billion.

Today, of course, that fortune sits closer to $84.9 billion.

Launches “The Giving Pledge”
In 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett announced “The Giving Pledge”, a campaign to get billionaires to contribute the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Today, there are 158 signers to the pledge, with pledges totaling $365 billion.

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Markets

Ranked: The 20 Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap

In total, the 20 biggest tech companies are worth over $20 trillion—nearly 18% of the stock market value globally.

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A portion of the top 20 biggest tech companies visualized as bubbles sized by market cap with Apple as the biggest.

Ranked: The 20 Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The world’s 20 biggest tech companies are worth over $20 trillion in total. To put this in perspective, this is nearly 18% of the stock market value globally.

This graphic shows which companies top the ranks, using data from Companiesmarketcap.com.

A Closer Look at The Top 20

Market capitalization (market cap) measures what a company is worth by taking the current share price and multiplying it by the number of shares outstanding. Here are the biggest tech companies according to their market cap on June 13, 2024.

RankCompanyCountry/RegionMarket Cap
1AppleU.S.$3.3T
2MicrosoftU.S.$3.3T
3NvidiaU.S.$3.2T
4AlphabetU.S.$2.2T
5AmazonU.S.$1.9T
6MetaU.S.$1.3T
7TSMCTaiwan$897B
8BroadcomU.S.$778B
9TeslaU.S.$582B
10TencentChina$453B
11ASMLNetherlands$415B
12OracleU.S.$384B
13SamsungSouth Korea$379B
14NetflixU.S.$281B
15AMDU.S.$258B
16QualcommU.S.$243B
17SAPGermany$225B
18SalesforceU.S.$222B
19PDD Holdings (owns Pinduoduo)China$212B
20AdobeU.S.$206B

Note: PDD Holdings says its headquarters remain in Shanghai, China, and Ireland is used for legal registration for its overseas business.

 

Apple is the largest tech company at the moment, having competed with Microsoft for the top of the leaderboard for many years. The company saw its market cap soar after announcing its generative AI, Apple Intelligence. Analysts believe people will upgrade their devices over the next few years, since the new features are only available on the iPhone 15 Pro or newer.

Microsoft is in second place in the rankings, partly thanks to enthusiasm for its AI software which is already generating revenue. Rising profits also contributed to the company’s value. For the quarter ended March 31, 2024, Microsoft increased its net income by 20% compared to the same quarter last year.

Nvidia follows closely behind with the third-highest market cap, rising more than eight times higher compared to its value at the start of 2023. The company has recently announced higher profits, introduced a higher dividend, and reported that its next-generation GPU chip will start generating revenue later this year.

AI a Driver of the Biggest Tech Companies

It’s clear from the biggest tech companies that involvement in AI can contribute to investor confidence.

Among S&P 500 companies, AI has certainly become a focus topic. In fact, 199 companies cited the term “AI” during their first quarter earnings calls, the highest on record. The companies who mentioned AI the most were Meta (95 times), Nvidia (86 times), and Microsoft (74 times).

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Voronoi, the app by Visual Capitalist. Where data tells the story. Download on App Store or Google Play

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