Praise for Idea Man
"There's an important lesson here that has subsequently been airbrushed out of the Microsoft legend: Allen's contributions to the partnership were as critical as Gates's. Without the tools that he developed, and his insight into the infrastructure that software development requires, Microsoft's subsequent growth would have been impossible...
Allen's account of his time at Microsoft and of his complex relationship with Gates makes riveting reading."
"Paul Allen was a childhood electronics nerd in Seattle, along with his schoolboy buddy Bill Gates. Then they converted that special brand of nerdiness into the American dream, becoming billionaires...
Allen's memoir is probably more complete and candid than average, perhaps because he's a researcher by nature, so troubled himself to research his own life."
"Allen's greatest indulgence, it seems to me, is commendable: giving free reign to his intellectual curiosity. Sometimes it seems like he's channeling a combination of Carl Sagan and Jules Verne, but the point is he's out there putting his money where his interests are, and his book is largely devoted to telling us what those are.
Having now read the entire book, I am struck by a couple of things. One is that while much attention has focused on the hard things he said about Bill Gates, the book is more nuanced."
"...Paul Allen, sheds his long-standing public reticence with a new memoir, 'Idea Man.' In it, he recreates the spirit of those early days in all their energy and tumult, providing a fascinating look at what it took to build the Microsoft behemoth."
"Allen's story is inspiring in many ways, as he goes from the kid who couldn't pay his $50 hotel bill in Albuquerque to the billionaire exploring the far reaches of the world and putting money into his biggest passions.
In short, 'Idea Man' is the unvarnished story of Allen's life, from his perspective—the highs and lows, the guitar jams and the arguments, the three yachts and the two struggles with cancer."
"Even at 58 and one of the wealthiest people in the world, Allen admits that writing his life story was 'one of the hardest things I've ever done.' The result is surprisingly profound and refreshingly frank."
"Here is the tale of one of the most restlessly curious and broadly imaginative people of our times, which in simple and eloquent language tells how he changed those times forever."
- Jann S. Wenner, editor and publisher, Rolling Stone
"Paul's natural curiosity will always guide him into uncharted waters. Whether it's a newfangled device called the personal computer; exploring the bottom of the sea or deep space; music, movies, and museums; or perhaps his most significant adventure so far—the human brain—two things are certain: It won't be the same afterward, and it will be an extraordinary journey."
- Peter Gabriel
"Whenever you are given the opportunity to get behind the scenes with one of the greatest creative minds in the world of technology and innovation, you have to jump on it."
- Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks
and author of Win Forever
"A rare glimpse into the mind of a great innovator; a chance to see Paul as only his friends have. The fascinating tale of an ordinary American boy's rise to being one of the richest men in history."
- Carrie Fisher
"Paul is a true adventurer in every sense of the word and, as a friend, he is both loyal and generous of spirit. His ideas have helped shape the world we live in, and witnessing the way his mind works is like watching a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo: you have no idea how he does it, but it blows your mind."
- Dave Stewart
"This son of Oklahoma, by way of Seattle, electrocuted a classmate, soldered his skin, gassed the family pet, purposely crashed systems, dove in dumpsters for coffee-stained printouts, and went on to create the engine that changed the world."
- Dan Aykroyd
Memorial funds in honor of Faye Allen
Both the Seattle Public Library and the Western and Central Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association have set up memorial funds in Mrs. Allen's name. The Allen family has suggested any donations be directed to one of these organizations.
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