Saturday, January 8, 2011

Genius or Birth Order? Zuckerberg, Gates, and Buffett: Their Common Characteristics



These entrepreneurial billionaires span three generations. Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is 81, William Gates III founder of Microsoft is 56, and Mark Zuckerberg co-founder of Facebook is 26.

  • Two made the cover of Time Magazine. Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, Bill Gates shared it with wife Melinda and musician Bono in 2005. Warren Buffet never made it to the cover but in 2006 was listed among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World
  • Both Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates attended Harvard but never finished, they dropped out to start their companies. Warren Buffett did finish college and went on for an additional degree. Maybe he represents a different generation?
 They are all Billionaires but they share something else on a more personal level; something even they may not   
 know. Birth Order

Birth Order
             They all share the same Birth Order. They are all Second borns with older sisters.
             All their sisters are approximately two years older.  Because of this they share a
             number of second born traits and because of their male genders they had an easy
             time dethroning their sisters, functioning as First borns but keeping their Second born traits.

Starting Early
  • Warren Buffet had a paper route early in his life and bought his first stock at the age of 11.  That five dollars of profit would set the stage for a life in the investment field.  Bill Gates was programming computers at the age of 11 when he was sent for counseling because of his independent streak, a true second born trait. Mark Zuckerberg’s first computer was a Quantex 486DX running Windows 3.1 and at age 12 he created a program to network the family computers.  The rest is history.

Don’t Tell Me What to Do
  • Freedom, not power is what sets the Second born apart from the First born.  Their billions are used for their freedom not for its power. They don’t like to be told what to do and their billions buy them this freedom.
Competitive
  • All show their competitive trait in their businesses, often putting in very long hours with an intensity that many could not sustain. On a more personal level we also see this trait. Mark Zuckerberg was a fencer in High school, Bill Gates was always playing competitive games with his two sisters and Warren Buffett plays bridge12 hrs per week. In 2006 he started the Buffett Cup for competition between 12 US players and 12 Europeans patterned after the Ryder Cup in golf. 
Management Style
  • Their management styles show the mark of the Second Born.  Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have an office but prefers the open office approach, no exercising of power here. Bill Gates’ employees are independent contractors and Warren Buffett prides himself in not getting in the way of the CEO’s of his companies.  He says he just leaves them alone; they do a better job without his interference.  This is what all three of them think everyone would like because that is what they want.   They are unaware it’s a birth order trait of Second borns.
Philanthropy
  • All have pledged to give at least 50% of their wealth to charity.  Why did they all see this as an easy decision?  As Second borns they share similar views on life. People with the same birth order are so much alike that age is no barrier. After their deaths they have no use for their money….you might say they then have achieved their ultimate freedom.