Bill Gates Biggest Mistake – Gates Slept Through Search Class

I think that Bill Gates has done amazing things. His legacy will live on for generations like Gordon Moore of Intel. However Bill will be known for making one of the biggest misses of this generation – Missing Search as a platform paradigm. Bill saw the Internet after Netscape punched him in the nose – we witnessed that. Years ago Google was smart they didn’t punch Microsoft in the nose. Instead, they quietly owned the search market from an infrastructure and services standpoint – by default a monopoly on ad revenue. What do you know..they say “look what we found ..billions”

I worked in the search field from the very early days founded a keyword company then worked at Realnames where Microsoft owned 20%. I had first direct hand experience watching Microsoft blow it from 1996-2001. Gates and crew completely missed search. He must not have been on one of his famous retreats that year. (note: if Microsoft didn’t shut down Realnames they might have had a chance in the search ad market – funny no one picks up on that story of that time).

Now the rest is history as Ballmer takes over and tries desperately to get into the game. Yahoo aligns with Google and now Microsoft is at ground zero in search.


Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

4 thoughts on “Bill Gates Biggest Mistake – Gates Slept Through Search Class”

  1. Microsoft has come from behind many times in the past. i.e. Internet Explorer, SQL, MS Word, MS Excel, and the list goes on. I caution all not to rule them out as the mammoth has executed well time after time by bundling solutions and making the separation of those solutions virtually impossible. Watch as Microsoft takes a dominant market position over the next few years. They will ramp up to thousands of people and beat a very loud and pervasive drum.

  2. George,
    thanks for commenting. I hope that Microsoft can make a stand and get the fire in the belly back. It would be healthy for the entire Industry. One thing that Microsoft did that many have spent years documenting was the fact that they created an industry around their dominance. The same can’t be said for Google at the moment.

    Many entrepreneurs say that Google is killing innovation from the smaller guys.

    I’m hoping to see Microsoft come back. If you see anything that should be on the radar here send me an email and I’d be glad to amply it.

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