1,000 Dollars & An Idea: Entrepreneur To Billionaire
Entrepreneur Sam Wyly developed the University Computing Company (UCC) in 1963 with just $1,000. UCC provides technology services for engineers, scientists, and researchers. The company went public in 1968 and was sold to McDonnell Douglas for $3 billion in cash and stock. From there, Wyly purchased a controlling interest in Sterling Software, which he took public in 1986. In 2000, he sold his stake in Sterling for $4.1 billion. In 2004, Forbes listed his net worth at 1 Billion. Here’s how he did it.
The Early Days of Sam Wyly’s Career
In the early 1960s, Sam Wyly was working as a programmer at Honeywell when he came up with the idea for a new technology computing center that would replace the obsolete Univac computer at Southern Methodist University (SMU). When his bosses at Honeywell rejected the idea, Wyly quit and used his severance pay to start the University Computing Company (UCC). He borrowed $9,000 from friends and family to get the company off the ground.
UCC quickly gained traction among engineers, scientists, and researchers looking for reliable computing services. The company went public in 1968 and was sold to McDonnell Douglas for $3 billion in cash and stock.
From there, Wyly purchased a controlling interest in Sterling Software, which he took public in 1986. In 2000, he sold his stake in Sterling for $4.1 billion.
Creating Value Through Technology Services
Wyly believes that the key to his success has been his focus on creating value through technology services. “The world changes, and you have to change with it,” he says. “I’ve always looked for businesses where I thought I could add value by providing newer or better technology.” This philosophy has served him well over the years as he’s built a series of successful companies in the tech space.
Sam Wyly is living proof that it’s possible to build a billion-dollar business from scratch—all you need is creativity, determination, and a lot of hustle. Wyly has created several successful businesses over the years by focusing on providing value through technology services. Today Sam Wyly is retired and resides in Dallas TX.