— Boris Mizhen has looked up to Bill Gates for a long time. Bill Gates has been an inspiration for Mizhen in his property development business, charity work and internet marketing. The Microsoft CEO can provide numerous teachings as having a net worth of $72 billion. With keen business acumen and constant dedication, Gates grew from 13-year-old software enthusiast to a leading pioneer of the 21st Century technology culture.
“He found his passion early and followed it,” describes Boris Mizhen. “This is one of the most important yet hardest parts of business, and indeed life.” In 1968, a PC company loaned a state-of-the-art $3,000 machine to Gates’ high school. He joined the Computer Club and instantly became fascinated by the possibilities of the technology. Gates met Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen here, and the two future business partners were constantly trying to get time with the equipment, going so far as to exploit a glitch in the software that tracked usage for the corporation that owned the workstations. They were disciplined with probation, but when they were finally allowed back into the lab, they offered to debug the program, which led to developing a payroll database for the same business. Mizhen appreciates this because of the direction that dedication sends people, and the risks that are taken when pursuing that kind of passion. He compares this with his own attitude to his professional life and considers, “We took risks, when working for our careers. If we hadn’t, it might have stunted our growth and would not have led to our commercial successes.”
Another of the key facets of Bill Gates’ story that inspire Mizhen is his personal involvement with every aspect of the business. Even in the early prosperous years of Microsoft, he was known to read through every line of code and often rewrite it himself. “The passion never wanes,” says Mizhen. “Even when Microsoft was a multi-billion-dollar enterprise and with every PC in the world running its operating system, Bill never really changed from that original teenager who wanted to know everything he could about technology and programming.”
Much like Bill Gates, Boris Mizhen believes that the achievements he had are due to the significance he placed on his product. Gates was an early opponent of software piracy, which in the early years of computing, was rampant. In 1976, Gates wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists explaining that distributing software without paying would hinder new programs from being written. It made him very unpopular among PC enthusiasts, but Gates has never wavered from that stance. Mizhen shares the same view as Gates, and considers it stealing from him and other developers. “He knew that good work deserves proper compensation and that there is an inherent value in every effort that should be rewarded, otherwise the system doesn’t work as it should,” explains Mizhen.
Boris Mizhen is a New York City-based real estate developer and software entrepreneur who has developed numerous advertising and marketing websites. Along with his online endeavors, Mizhen is a devoted and tireless philanthropist, donating considerable time and energy to non-profits and other charitable organizations, such as Chabad of the Shoreline and The Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven. He follows in the footsteps of his inspirations by remaining dedicated to improving the lives of people in local communities.
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