Steve Jobs called up Bill Gates and said, “I’m going to turn this thing around.” Bill always had a soft spot for Apple. We got him into the application software business. The first Microsoft apps were Excel and Word for the Mac. So I called him and said, “I need help.” Apple’s not going to survive that long if we’re at war. I know that. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.” In August of 1997, Apple and Microsoft decided to put the past behind them and focus on the future. At that year’s Macworld event, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announced that the two companies had entered into a historic agreement. In addition to agreeing to a broad patent cross-licensing agreement, Microsoft promised to support Microsoft Office for the Mac for 5 years while Apple agreed to make Internet Explorer the default web browser on the Mac.
Sheldon Adelson is worth $35 billion. He is Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands.
Sheldon Adelson knows a thing or two about poverty, having grown up the son of a taxi driver in Dorchester, Mass.
“I came from a very poor family. We were six people, four children and my parents, in one bedroom…and my parents were poor.” Living at the bottom may be one reason Mr. Adelson has been so resilient in his climb back to the top. As Wealth Report readers might recall, Mr. Adelson lost more than 90% of his fortune in 2008 when markets tanked and credit evaporated.
His losses amounted to more than $1,000 a second, or more than $4 million a day. So how did he feel about losing more money at one time than anyone else in history? “So I lost $25 billion,” he said. “I started out with zero.” In other words, no big deal. He also kept his cool as his company teetered on the edge of financial ruin. When many investors were abandoning ship, Mr. Adelson and his family invested $1 billion of their own money. “There is no such thing as fear–not to an entrepreneur. Concern, yes. Fear, no.” Still, Mr. Adelson’s story reminds us how background matters when it comes to building and maintaining wealth. Self-made billionaires often are confident that if they did it once, they can do it again. And having grown up poor, Mr. Adelson also knows what it is like to have nothing. So, he isn’t as fearful of temporary losses.
“An entrepreneur is born with the mentality to take risks, with several important character traits: courage, faith in yourself, and above all, even when you fail, to learn from failure and get up and try again.”
Mark Zuckerberg is among the youngest billionaires in the world. He is only 28 years old and his net worth is $67.8 billion.
His wedding was held in his backyard. The couple was seen eating at an inexpensive restaurant while they were on their honeymoon in Italy.
Zuckerberg reportedly drives an Acura “because it’s safe and not ostentatious.”
If you notice one thing about this young billionaire, it is that he wears the same casual outfit every day. He wears the same gray t-shirt, jeans, and hoodie. GQ has named him “Worst Dressed Man of Silicon Valley.” His entire wardrobe probably costs less than $700, and it probably costs less than $200 a year to keep his wardrobe updated. Considering that the average American family spends around $1,700 a year on clothing, Zuckerberg definitely has the right idea on saving money.
The trappings of wealth have never impressed him. Zuckerberg announced that he would donate 99% of his Facebook shares during his lifetime.
Ingvar Kamprad is the founder of IKEA. His net worth is $23 billion.
Swede Ingvar Kamprad began with two empty hands to become one of the richest people in the world.
The Swedish furniture-maker prefers to live simply. Kamprad is one of the richest people in Europe, but you wouldn’t know it when flying next to him in economy class or eating lunch with him in Ikea’s cafeteria. He calls his employees ‘co-workers’ and encourages everyone to dress informally. He stays in cheap hotels. He drives a 15-year-old Volvo. His home in Switzerland was decorated mostly with inexpensive IKEA furniture.
Ingvar Kamprad still flies economy and often rides the bus. Arriving at a gala event to receive a Businessman Of The Year Award, he was at first refused entry by security because he had come off the bus. The security guard thought that it wasn’t really Mr. Kamprad; rather it was someone who pretended to be him so he could enter the gala since how could a rich man like Ingvar Kamprad ride a bus?
Rather than dining in expensive restaurants, he likes to drop in to one of his stores for a cheap meal of his favorite Swedish meatballs. Kamprad and his wife are often seen eating in inexpensive restaurants and haggling over prices at the market.
He prefers to do his shopping in the local market (always near closing time when vendors are more likely to drop their prices). Dressed in his scruffy coat, one would assume he was just another elderly man living on a tight budget rather than the fifth wealthiest entrepreneur in the world.
That is just how Ingvar Kamprad likes it. He regards luxury not merely as an indulgence but almost as a sin. In his memoir he wrote:
“We don’t need flashy cars, impressive titles, uniforms or other status symbols. We rely on our strength, and our will!”