The unbelievable story of Gary Kildall.
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Today I want to tell you one of the most shocking stories you will ever hear.
This story is hard to believe but it's actually true.
Who the hell is this guy and why am I making a whole episode on the guy?
This guy is the richest man in the world that you have never heard of… something like that
If you want to hear the specifics, tune in to this episode and I can guarantee you that this will blow your mind
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“Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”
– Michael Bloomberg, founder Bloomberg L.P.
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So I want to tell you about this guy called Gary Kildall.
This guy should be one of the most famous people on the planet. And you've never heard of the guy. Right. And you must be wondering, well, who the hell is this guy and why should I know?
So listen up.
So we're going back to the time when Bill Gates was here and started Microsoft or anything, or he hadn't started Microsoft, actually. And he was he wasn't famous. It wasn't the rich guy that you know today.
Steve Jobs decided that people needed personal computers because before computers were just mainframes and only like the big companies had computers. These were these huge machines. And you needed a full room and engineers and stuff to operate them.
OK, so then came Apple and Apple are actually the first ones that took the computer and put it in the hands of people like the personal computer. All right.
So Apple created the market that, you know, for example, IBM, who was the main producer of these old computers and mainframes and stuff, they said, look, there's no money in the mainstream segment. We just stick to companies. This is where the money is. This is where the future is.
OK, so they basically decided that now, you know what? We don't care about them, until Apple started selling millions of their computers. And this is when IBM decided that, oh, you know what? There's actually a pretty big market there. We want a share of that.
OK, so this is where the story gets interesting and where this guy, Gary Kildall, will actually come into play. The problem that IBM had at the time was that all these machines weren't compatible with one another.
So, you know, just imagine if, for example, you had your cell phones, for example, just imagine every single one of us needed our own phone operator or like Sprint and Verizon and blah, blah, blah. Right.
So it was very hard for them to go into the consumer market because all these machines, I mean, they were custom made. So they had to find a way to like kind of like standardize the whole thing to be able to sell it to the general public, just like Apple did. They just created one operating system.
So they contacted Bill Gates as a consultant for him to help them find a solution. Now, please understand this. Bill Gates didn't have the solution. Bill Gates didn't have an operating system. He didn't have the solution to IBM's problem.
So he they basically had him sign a nondisclosure agreement to kind of like explain the problem and ask him to help or find someone who could help them with the problem. And this is where Gary Kendall comes into play, because Gary Kendall is actually the father of the operating system that was used afterwards in Microsoft and Windows.
The unbelievable story of Gary Kildall
So basically what he did was he created some sort of machine that was able to translate any language into like a common language. He was the one who created this and he already had like a booming business with this. And Bill Gates knew it.
So what Bill Gates did and he was under an NDA is that he contacted the guy, Gary Kendall, and he said, look, some people are going to call you. You really want to take that call, right? And because he was under an NDA, he couldn't say who it was. He calls the guy and says, look, you need to be ready.
They're going to show up at your house. You need to be there when they show up.
But amazingly, he never actually waited for IBM to show up at his house. So anyway, IBM shows up there, only his wife was there. The guy was unreachable and stuff and. Well, anyway, it's a long story short, the deal never happens, right?
Because he failed to recognize that there was a big opportunity there. Then afterwards, they started looking for someone else. And this is when Bill Gates was really smart. So Bill Gates basically told IBM, well, yes, I actually have an operating system that can do the trick, even though the guy didn't have it.
So some people say Bill Gates stole this. But you have to actually recognize the genius of the guy. The guy said, I have it. I'm going to deliver it to you. He doesn't have it right. So he needs to find it.
So Gates went and bought the operating system from one of those companies that Kildall sold the operating system to. It was a cheaper version of what he actually built because what Kildall built was a lot more sophisticated.
He bought the operating system for seventy five thousand dollars. He invested 75 grand out of his pocket and he didn't know whether it was going to work or not. Right.
So you still have to recognize the fact that, you know and please also understand, this is, preparation, there's opportunity. And success is when preparation meets opportunity because Bill Gates was prepared. Right. The guy was a genius. So he was able to see he had an opportunity.
He created that opportunity to go and buy that operating system. And if he wasn't prepared, he wouldn't have been able to understand the operating system and go and install it and integrated with IBM.
Some other people, like Kildall, for example, completely missed the opportunity, and the rest is history.