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10 Things You Didn't Know about Michael Saylor

Michael Saylor

Michael Saylor is an American entrepreneur. He has been around since the late 1980s, so it should come as no surprise to learn that he is known for a number of things. However, interested individuals might have heard Saylor's name in recent times because of his decision to put a huge amount of money into bitcoin.

1. Born in Lincoln, NE

Saylor was born in Lincoln, NE, which is interesting for a number of reasons. For example, it was founded on salt marshes, which sounds unpleasant until one realizes that salt was a very valuable substance until the invention of modern refrigeration as well as modern transportation. In more modern times, Lincoln is quite a diverse place, not least because of its designation as a "refugee-friendly" city by the U.S. federal government in the 1970s.

2. Grew Up in a Number of Places

Having said that, Saylor grew up in a number of places. This can be explained by the fact that he was born to a military family, meaning that he moved from U.S. Air Force base to base. Eventually, Saylor's family settled in Fairborn, OH, which is close to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In case people are curious, it is indeed named for the Wright brothers, who conducted test flights at said location.

3. Went to MIT

Education-wise, Saylor went to MIT on a U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship. There, he studied aeronautics and astronautics as well as science, technology, and society, meaning that he did a double major. Besides that, Saylor also met one of his two future co-founders Sanju K. Bansal through his fraternity.

4. Wanted to Become a Pilot

Based on Saylor's majors, interested individuals might be able to guess that he didn't always want to go into business. As he tells it, he had his mind set upon becoming either a pilot or an astronaut. Unfortunately, Saylor's plans fell through because of something beyond his control. In short, he failed his physical because he had a benign heart murmur.

5. Scrambled for a Replacement Plan

Saylor had to scramble to come up with a replacement plan. Initially, he thought about doing a doctoral program. However, that didn't work out because Saylor wasn't able to get the fellowship funding that he needed. As a result, he decided to spend some time working before going back to school, with the result that he winded up at a consulting that went bankrupt after six months. Eventually, Saylor got a job at DuPont where he became involved in the computer side of things. To be exact, he created computer models, which were meant to help the corporation predict changes in the global market.

6. Co-Founded MicroStrategy

His success with DuPont was a major factor in his ability to co-found MicroStrategy, which is a public company that focuses upon business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. Said company saw explosive growth in the earliest part of its existence. For instance, MicroStrategy increased revenues by 100 percent in every single year from 1990 to 1996, which says much about the demand for its services even in that decade. By the late 1990s, Saylor was very successful. After all, he was recognized by a wide range of publications. Furthermore, Saylor was a multi-billionaire.

7. Lost $6 Billion

A lot of the people who recognize Saylor's name will recognize it because he is someone who lost $6 billion in net worth within a very short period of time. For those who are unfamiliar, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against Saylor as well as two other MicroStrategy executives in March of 2020 because of inaccurate reporting of financial results for the two preceding years, which is the kind of thing that irks financial regulators because stakeholders are so reliant on financial reports for their ability to make good financial decisions. Saylor and the other two MicroStrategy executives never admitted wrongdoing, but they did wind up settling. Each of them paid $350,000 in penalties. Furthermore, they disgorged $10 million, with Saylor himself having disgorged $8.3 million of that $10 million. Unsurprisingly, when MicroStrategy restated its financial results for the aforementioned time period, its share price plummeted with predictable consequences for Saylor's net worth.

8. Opposed the Measures to Control the COVID-19 Crisis

There were a number of tech executives who voiced public opposition to the measures that public health officials recommended for bringing the COVID-19 crisis under control. Saylor was one of the best-known in this regard. To name some examples, he was against both the idea of social distancing and the idea of shutting down non-essential businesses, so much so that he outright stated that he wouldn't be closing the doors of his company until he was legally obliged to do so. On top of this, Saylor claimed that even if the COVID-19 crisis was permitted to go unchecked, it would just lower global life expectancy by a few weeks even in the worst-case scenario. Suffice to say that there are countries that took a multi-month hit in that regard, which is particularly striking because that is with them going to great lengths to bring the pandemic under control.

9. Wrote About the Impact of Mobile Technology

In 2012, Saylor released a book called The Mobile Wave, which was about the various ways that mobile technology would change the way that we do things in the 2010s and beyond. The general gist of his book has proven to be correct, as shown by how mobile technology has changed everything from how we access to documents to how we make payments. However, it is important to remember that Saylor was far from being the only individual to make such claims in the early 2010s, seeing as how a lot of the relevant trends were already starting up at that point.

10. Has Put a Huge Amount of Money into Bitcoins

So far, Saylor has spent more than $2 billion for the purpose of acquiring Bitcoins, which has made him one of the most notable boosters of said cryptocurrency among business executives. He believes that Bitcoins could become as valuable as $100 trillion, which would require each individual Bitcoin to soar to more than $4.7 million.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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