Billl Gates' autograph could be one of the best bets you make.
35 years ago, on November 10, 1983, Microsoft revealed Windows 1.0 - its first ever PC operating system.
By the early 90s, it was the most powerful technology company in the world.
Today, 75% of the world’s computers run of Windows.
Recently we’ve watched the value of Steve Jobs’ autograph rise.
So will we see the same effect with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his great rival?
The answer is...it’s complicated.
From 1995-2017 (barring four years) Bill Gates was the richest man in the world.
He spends billions of dollars a year on his foundation, which aims to eradicate malaria.
But while Gates has been in the public eye for decades he’s not thought of in the same way as Steve Jobs.
Gates has always been on top
When you look at the Steve Jobs story, you’ll find struggle.
Humble beginnings, false starts and years in the wilderness.
Extraordinary flashes of genius.
A rocky private life. He died in his prime.
Gates was a genius programmer from a wealthy background. A shrewd businessman who wrote the architecture that most of the world’s computers run on. He was a billionaire by the age of 32.
His achievements are remarkable.
But for an autograph to take off, it needs the backing of a great story.
Apple is cooler than Microsoft
The question of whether Mac is better than PC has been raging for decades.
I have no intention of bogging myself down in that mire.
But there’s no question that Apple has always been cooler than Microsoft.
During the 1980s and 1990s, it was the scrappy underdog challenging the status quo.
Today it’s a behemoth that produces some of the world’s most covetable hardware.
It has long been the preferred option for creatives.
Microsoft is a tool of the corporate world.
Innovative in its own way, but with none of Apple's counter-cultural cache.
But as I told you, it’s complicated
Because there is a lot of demand.
Gates signed photographs are selling for as much as $300 at auction. An original floppy disk he autographed in the 1970s realised $1,455 this October.
And in 2017, a signed advance copy of Windows 1.0 made $13,000 on eBay.
We can attribute them to two things.
1. Microsoft is one of the most successful companies in history
2. Bill Gates’ signature is extremely rare
You see, Gates has been using an autopen to reply to his mail for decades. The only way you can hope to get an autograph is to get one in person. And it's not easy to walk up to the second richest man in the world.
Will a Bill Gates signature ever be worth as much as Steve Jobs?
But I still see significant gains ahead.
And if you’re looking to buy – now’s the time.