What are we doing with our garages?

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An Ivy League school ‘drop out’ and another Ivy League ‘Phi Beta Kappa’ graduate are recently in a fight for the ultimate throne, ‘richest man on the planet’. One of them dropped out of school to build software in his garage, the other quit the Wall Street to sell books, from his garage. Guess we are not utilizing our garages to its full potential!

Bill Gates felt that he did not need a Harvard education and dropped out and built Microsoft, which made him the richest person on the face of the blue planet. He changed computing forever and shot him to the throne of the richest man on the world. Jeff Bezos, however, had a different approach and finished his formal education from Princeton. Then he took on the money market of Wall Street and having the shrewd business acumen that only he can have, took advantage of a Supreme Court ruling and set up an online book shop. Quitting Wall Street was not a bad thing for him as he just overtook Bill Gates to be the richest man on earth.

The irony of this whole real life drama is, if it was not for Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos could not have accomplished what he has. Today’s world will always be in Bill’s debt for making computers everyone’s products by launching Microsoft and making it cheaper, which led to virtually everyone in the world using Microsoft products and over 70% of the computers running on Windows, the flagship Microsoft product. He practically made the field for Jeff and others to play on. So richest or not, we cannot discount Bill Gates from this race.

Bill might have set the stage for everyone else, but only Jeff could overtake him. So he deserves his share of credit for this achievement. What did he do right that others missed? When the Supreme Court ruled the online businesses ‘without’ physical existence to be sales tax exempt, he seized the opportunity and launched amazon.com, a website to sell books online. Sounded silly at the beginning but that was just the beginning for Jeff. He then added other products and services to the amazon portfolio and currently amazon is the largest online store in the world. So it’s only fitting that the owner of the largest shop be the richest in the world.

Back to where we started, rather, where they started, their garages. It can be safely said that Ivy League education or plush office spaces really doesn’t have anything to do with success. It’s the guys starting from the garages are making it big. So next time you despair, or don’t find any purpose, look at your garage and think about what you are missing. After all, it all starts in the garage!

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