Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor


Gateway, Inc., a South Dakota company, pioneered direct marketing of computers to individuals for personal applications in their homes. Its headquarters moved from North Sioux City, South Dakota, to San Diego, California, in 1998, but it still maintains its North Sioux City location, as well as a location in Sioux Falls. The company went public in 1993 and is now listed in the New York Stock Exchange as GTW. Formerly known as Gateway 2000, the "2000" was dropped from the name in 1998.

Ted Waitt started Gateway in 1985 in the abandoned farmhouse on his family's cattle ranch with $10,000 capital from his grandmother. Waitt was twenty-three years old. The growth of the company has been remarkable. By 1997 its revenues had reached $6.3 billion. It then ranked seventh among its competitors –behind IBM, Dell, and Compaq but above Apple, NCR, and Silicon Graphics. Gateway has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Ireland, and Malaysia and showrooms, called Gateway Country Stores, in thirty-seven American cities. The number of stores, however, was being greatly reduced in 2003 in an effort to reduce expenses.

Gateway maintains its ties to its Great Plains and cattle ranch roots. The familiar Holstein cow spots on its shipping boxes are known around the world. The spots are prominent in its logo and cover its buildings. In the fall of 2002, Gateway updated its logo with a G (the "power on" symbol on its side) inside a single cow spot.

The company wins numerous industry awards year after year. Its founder, Ted Waitt, is recognized by journalists as one of America's leading executives and strategists.

Harold Christensen University of Sioux Falls

Dumaine, Bryan. "America's Smart Young Entrepreneurs." Fortune, March 21, 1994: 34–41.

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