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Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft | [Paul Allen]

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

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. With honesty, humor, and insight, Allen here tells the story of a life of ideas made real.
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Publisher's 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 long-awaited 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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Amadeo 05-25-12
    Amadeo 05-25-12
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    "The part about Microsoft is good"
    Any additional comments?

    Great account of Microsoft's early years. Too bad it is only a third of the book. The rest is about Allen's other activities, which are not so interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-03-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-03-11 Member Since 2002
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    "an interesting journey"

    Two part book. First, an inside look at the journey of a curious kid from his days mixing household chemicals in the basement through his co-founding and eventual departure from Microsoft. Second, a primer on how not to go shopping after hitting the jackpot.
    Sadly, no mention of the egregious "patent troll" behavior by Vulcan, especially on small and growing tech start-ups.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 12-02-11
    Dustin Walton, KY, United States 12-02-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "Pretty good"

    This biography was a mixed bag. The parts about Allen's relationship with Bill Gates before Microsoft, and about his time working at Microsoft, were great. It really makes you realize how intergel Microsoft was at the time. They were involved with so much, listening to Allen talk about it was almost like reading Fire In The Valley. It was like hearing a complete early history of personal computers. When Allen finishes talking about Microsoft he gives his take on the computer industry, and it's pretty awesome to hear his perspective on the industry today. I really enjoyed these parts of the book. With that said, the beginning, before Allen meets Gates, and the parts about owning a basketball team and the non-tech investments he made after Microsoft were incredibly boring. I couldn't take it and ended up skipping these chapters. Finally near the end he starts talking about his tech investments. This part wasn't bad, but his involvement with his tech investments are never as interesting as his involvement with Microsoft. It really makes you wonder if he was as passionate about these investments as he was about Microsoft. Overall I'd say if you're into tech like I am then reading this is a no-brainer... you'll just end up skipping the boring parts like me. The parts I mentioned that were interesting are well worth the price tag.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saeed Laguna Hills, Ca, United States 01-14-14
    Saeed Laguna Hills, Ca, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "inspirational book"
    What did you love best about Idea Man?

    the life story of paul allan


    Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

    all of them


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes. I finished it in two days


    Any additional comments?

    i will recommand this book to all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry BOTHELL, WA, United States 06-21-13
    Henry BOTHELL, WA, United States 06-21-13 Member Since 2011
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    23
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    "More than just Microsoft"
    If you could sum up Idea Man in three words, what would they be?

    Empathetic, insightful, intriguing


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was more than just Microsoft. It gave you insight into what seemed like the human side of Microsoft as well as other parts of Paul Allen's life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    ...more than code.


    Any additional comments?

    A good read to learn about the cofounder of Microsoft and many other companies, foundations, and ideas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas W Parsley ARVADA, CO USA 02-25-13
    Thomas W Parsley ARVADA, CO USA 02-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "It's great to hear the entire story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    In the past, nearly every book about Microsoft was focused on Bill Gates and completely neglected Paul Allen. Hearing Paul Allen's story makes both sides of the story even more interesting. It's definitely worth the listen.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Sean is a pleasure to listen to and he does a great job. I first heard his voice with Tyler Hamilton's book and was pleased to hear it again for this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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