Between the ages of 8 and 13, life is resolved between riding a bicycle, video games and Cola Cao. Moreover, at that age many children they avoid the task that extended the useful life of the school and they are more aware of the first love sensations that are approaching or the latest television distraction that generates fun for them.
Bill Gates, Ray Dalio and Jack DorseyHowever, they did not enjoy themselves in the same way as the rest of the small mortals. This millionaire trio found their professional calling before turning 15 years old. Although his approach to business, finance and technology was somewhat “fortuitous,” Dalio says he doesn’t think it’s a “coincidence.”
In a recent episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast hosted by Dax Shepard, and picked up by CNBC, Dalio noted, for example, that his career path got under way when he learned about the stock market at age 12, during a golf game.
The three billionaires have publicly reflected on how their teenage interests led them to successful professional lives:
Ray Dalio started on a golf course
According to Dalio in the podcast episode, at age 12 he was a caddy (assistant) for Wall Street executives on a golf course in Long Island, New York. She overheard them talking about the stock market and decided to invest her caddy salary, not really knowing what she was getting herself into.
Dalio, now 72, said he chose to invest in Northeast Airlines, which has merged with DeltaAirlines in 1972, because it was “the only company I ever heard of that sold for less than 5 dollars per share“.
To his luck, he tripled that investment and, according to the nonprofit Academy of Achievement, built a stock portfolio worth thousands of dollars. when he graduated from high school. “I was so dumb and lucky,” Dalio said on the podcast.
Dalio built on that early success at Bridgewater Associates, the hedge fund he launched in 1975. Over roughly four decades, he built it into the world’s largest hedge fund before stepping down as CEO in 2017.
In the interview, the billionaire stated that “you think differently before puberty than after puberty. you learn different“.
Bill Gates, “learn and fail” at age 13
Bill Gates started his career very early, at the age of 13 when he started write software programs. Together with Paul Allen, he designed an automated class scheduling system for his school.
In 1993, Gates told the Smithsonian Institution that the experience of learn (and fail) writing computer code at such a young age gave him the chance to try something he was “good at or interested in” but probably wouldn’t have been able to do in a classroom.
“Self-examination at that age is excellent because you develop a sense of trust on yourself and an identity of, ‘Hey, I know that pretty well. I know this better than the masters,” Gates said. “If your program is wrong, then you fix it and try again. It’s a feedback loop.”
Together, Gates and Allen launched Microsoft in 1975. Gates was the company’s CEO until 2000. Today, the company has a market cap of $1.85 trillion.
Jack Dorsey, pre-teen programming
Jack Dorsey’s father was an engineer. He often brought home circuit boards. That piqued the interest of Dorsey who had a obsession with “taking things apart”he explained on the Harvard Business School podcast The Business in 2014.
That interest became programming after his father brought home a computer, Dorsey told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2013. And as a teenager, he explained, his interest extended to dispatch routing programs that assign routes to vehicles such as taxis, couriers and emergency medical services.
The brief exchanges that conveyed the locations of the vehicles and the activity of the drivers eventually “inspired Twitter”Dorsey said. He co-founded the social network in 2006 and ran the company until 2008, then again from 2015 to 2021.
dorsey too co-founded Block, formerly known as Square, in 2009 and remains the CEO of that company today. And throughout that career, he has contributed millions of dollars to educational coding programs, emphasizing the importance of developing skills at an early age.
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This is how Bill Gates, Ray Dalio and Jack Dorsey entertained themselves in childhood: neither bicycles nor video games