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Idea Man

A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

By his early 30s, Paul Allen was a world-famous billionaire - and that was just the beginning. 

In 2007 and 2008, Time named Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Since he made his fortune, his impact has been felt in science, technology, business, medicine, sports, music, and philanthropy. His passion, curiosity, and intellectual rigor - combined with the resources to launch and support new initiatives - have literally changed the world. 

In 2009 Allen discovered that he had lymphoma, lending urgency to his desire to share his story for the first time. In this classic memoir, Allen explains how he has solved problems, what he's learned from his many endeavors - both the triumphs and the failures - and his compelling vision for the future. He reflects candidly on an extraordinary life. 

The book also features previously untold stories about everything from the true origins of Microsoft to Allen's role in the dawn of private space travel (with SpaceShipOne) and in discoveries at the frontiers of brain science. With honesty, humor, and insight, Allen tells the story of a life of ideas made real.

©2011 Paul Allen (P)2011 Penguin

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great man

Paul Allen was a great man in his field who also contributed so much in many other areas, too. This is his well-narrated story of how he rose to such great heights alongside Bill Gates at Microsoft, as well as achievements elsewhere. This is a
really nice audio book which I enjoyed. He will be greatly missed.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Pessimistic at points

There were too frequent technical names of the hardware, which shadows the storyline sometimes. Too many times 'I' instead of 'we', and at some stages it felt that he wasn't happy with his fortune :/ God bless him.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Much more than just microsoft

I came to this book anticipating most of it to be about Microsoft, the subject I got the book for. I wanted a perspective on its start from the other co - founder. This was engrossing as Mr Allen kept diaries so had great detail of the very early days programming late at night but it skimmed over fairly quickly his involvement in the company's latter days as he grew apart from Bill Gates.

The second half of the book I didn't know what to expect as I didn't know about Paul Allen's other interests and achievements. The starting chapters to this second half, post the big topic of Microsoft, about sports ownership failed to grab me much but the chapters on music, the mind (the ultimate computer has he says), space flight, the start of cable internet and exploration by yacht went together very well. These were equally engrossing and showed what Paul Allen's many other legacies were that had developed from his post Microsoft business investments.

If you just came to this book about Microsoft you will really like its start up story but please hang around for the bigger picture of a private but engaging man.

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i could not stop listening

Excellent, loved it, RIP Paul Allen. Software is eating the world now and many have benefited from their rise.