My 13-Year-Old Son Just Built A Computer

Could he be the next Bill Gates?

Simon Black
Jun 16 · 3 min read

Wow, son. I’m impressed. You really did it. When you first pushed the button and we saw all the fans start to whir and the LEDs light up, I exclaimed with joy. All those various components that you put together inside the PC, they actually worked and I was so proud. You are obviously destined for greatness, like the computer wunderkinds that came before you, like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates. At first, I felt great fatherly pride, and I couldn’t help giving myself I little pat on the back. I have done a pretty good job raising you, young fella, that’s pretty obvious now.

But now I’m beginning to feel some concern.

Son, now that you are a billionaire-to-be, I think you have to realize that with enormous wealth comes enormous responsibility.

Have you heard of The Giving Pledge? Billionaires like Gates and Warren Buffet have pledged to give away half their earnings before they die.

I know you’re only 13, but that’s why it’s even more important that you think of others less fortunate than yourself.

You know in some parts of the world, 13-year-old’s can’t afford the components for a powerful gaming computer like this one you just made. They have to try to run PC games on Windows 7 with less than four gig of RAM. Can you imagine the snail-like refresh rates on machines like that, son?

I just checked The Giving Pledge website. Billionaires post letters there explaining why they are choosing to make the pledge. You should start drafting your letter. Look, this is a great quote from Michael Bloomberg: “The reality of great wealth is that you can’t spend it and you can’t take it with you. If you want to fully enjoy life — give.”

OK, son, I understand that you’re excited about your new computer and you want to play some games on it, that’s fine. I’ll start your giving pledge letter here on my laptop and you can come in at the end and sign it, and then we are going to need a financial planner and an investment adviser, because we’re only going to give away most of your money. Some of it, a few hundred million, you’ll keep to have a great lifestyle, of course. You might even buy your father a beautiful estate on the water somewhere. I mean, a state of the art place, with digital art on the walls, and total cutting edge smart controls and security measures because —

What’s that? The computer’s on fire. Oh shit. Call 911. Call 911.


It’s OK, my boy. So you screwed up and attached the PCU to the wrong power supply. Could have happened to anybody. And you’ve learned a valuable lesson. Here in America, one minute you’re a billionaire, the next your out on the street watching your house burn down.

Don’t look so depressed. I’m not mad. Yes, our beloved family pet didn’t make it out, but we did, son. We survived, and we’re still together. That’s the main thing. I’m proud of you, you hear me? Even if you’re not Bill Gates. You’re my son.

Come here, give a hug.

The Startup

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Simon Black

Written by

Editor of Downinthedingle.com and author of Me and Kev and The Book of Frank, also The Dog Child and also Crack the Essay, Secrets of Argumentative Writing

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +481K people. Follow to join our community.