Rich Habits Word of the Day
Solecism – Mistake, blunder. The solecism of his first start-up taught him lessons that eventually made him a millionaire.
Rich Habits Fact of the Day
His first company was Traf-O-Data, the objective of which was ‘to read the raw data from roadway traffic counters and create reports for traffic engineers‘. In this way, the company would optimize traffic and end road congestion.
The company’s product was the Traf-O-Data 8008, a device which could read traffic tapes and process the data. They first tried to sell the processing service to the local County, but their first demo failed because the machine ‘didn’t work’, recalled Gates. His partner, Paul Allen, summarized the experience for exactly what it was:
‘Even though Traf-O-Data wasn’t a roaring success, it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later’
And happily, that’s exactly what they did. They kept on going and Microsoft became the largest personal-computer software company in the world. But it’s still nice to know that even the richest philanthropist in the world can make business blunders.
Rich Habits Lesson of the Day
What continues to make America unique is the ability for anyone to start a business. You don’t need a college education to start a business in America. You just need to know how to read, write and do some simple math. When you start a business you will make many mistakes. In a small business, when you make a mistake, it costs you time and money. Because it costs you time and money, the lessons stick. You learn what not to do. You learn what works. You become your own mentor through the school of hard knocks. The most successful businesses in America were built on a mountain of mistakes. The more successful you are as a business owner, very likely, the more mistakes you made along the way. Starting a business is the great equalizer in America.