Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by owlsbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft Hardcover – April 19, 2011


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$3.98 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Shop the New Digital Design Bookstore
Check out the Digital Design Bookstore, a new hub for photographers, art directors, illustrators, web developers, and other creative individuals to find highly rated and highly relevant career resources. Shop books on web development and graphic design, or check out blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the design industry. Shop now

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843825
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The virtual world he imagined is now as real as concrete ... the very fabric of a twenty-first century that he and a tiny club of others literally invented. Shy, humble, brilliant ... Paul Allen's intellect and generosity of spirit are there on every page. Bono 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 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 Ackroyd --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

PAUL ALLEN is the billionaire technologist and philanthropist who cofounded Microsoft with Bill Gates. He is the chairman of Vulcan Inc. and founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. He also owns the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers and is co-owner of the Seattle Sounders pro soccer team. He lives on Mercer Island, Washington.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

It's those first chapters which is why book is worth reading.
FrenkyB
I really enjoy reading the parts about Paul Allen's childhood, his relationship with Bill Gates and the making of Microsoft.
hgouw
If you want to be a venture capitalist, you do it, getting even richer if you're smart.
RobBike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Jaewoo Kim VINE VOICE on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book details Paul Allen's story on the beginning of Microsoft and his relationship with Bill Gates. The 2nd half of the book deals with his sport teams (TrailBlazers and Seahawks), space planes, investments, life as a wealthy mogul, and recent events.

Contrary to the press reports, this book draws a neutral portrait of Bill Gates. He is both highly praised and criticized. The book truly delivers an unvarnished view of Bill Gates and the beginnings of Microsoft. If you are into tech-history, this book should not be missed.

I think the title "Idea Man" is spot-on. Paul is the founding Visionary of Microsoft. He had the world-changing ideas and inspirations. But it was mostly Bill Gates who sorted them out and drove Paul Allen and rest of Microsoft's employees to execute those ideas into a reality. It is important to note that game changing ideas at Microsoft were somewhat lacking after Paul Allen left Microsoft. Instead, Microsoft became more like Bill Gates, an entity that is ruthless, sucessful, and technically brilliant. Yet, Microsoft lacked a vision and played mostly catchup to other visionary companies and ideas (Netscape, Apple, smartPhones, tablets, game consoles etc). I am convinced that Microsoft may have been a different and a more visionary company if Paul Allen had stayed.

I have also read the two books written by Bill Gates. In both books, Bill Gates gives strong endorsement and credit to Paul Allen for the co-founding of Microsoft. The two men have known each other for over 40 years and grew up together. The bond between the two seems very deep.

Pros:
1)This book is written in an extremely fluid style. I am not sure if Paul hired a ghostwriter, but if the book was mostly first-hand written, then I am impressed.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Lee on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Paul Allen is a strange renaissance-man type nerd, and he has a mostly interesting tale to tell. Here were the ups and downs of his tale to me:

- The first half of the book is more engaging than the second
The book is really about three different phases of his life. The first two phases cover the first half of the book. In the first phase is his childhood, discovery of his passion for computers and forming a friendship with Gates through a common love of computer programming. The second phase is the creation of Microsoft and subsequent struggles with Bill as the company grows.

Paul left MS before it went public, and in a few short years his stock options turned him into a multi-billionaire. Adrift without a purpose and lots of money, the second half of the book covers his investments into mostly unprofitable ventures as he explores whatever strikes his fancy. He likes basketball, so he buys a basketball team. He still wants to make a mark as a solo visionary in technology, so he starts a technology think tank. He's fascinated by space so he funds the first commercial space flight. He likes movies so he gets involved in the creation of DreamWorks... and well, a whole lot of other things, as well. Some of these are more interesting than others. Some of them venture into total nerdy detail which one will only find fascinating if they're equally obsessed with the topic.

2. Paul's a good logical writer and doesn't hold back from sharing his (or others) flaws, but his logical approach tends to keep real feeling out of his story.
The most engaging parts are about his relationship with Bill. It is pretty much the only area where some much less analytical insights are provided.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Junky on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recommend the first 30% of this book for anyone in the tech field who wants an insider's view of the guts of starting a software business in the early days. There is some candid insight into Gates' and Allen's personalities and in my perspective, sheds some light on why some things about Silicon Valley culture are the way they are--some of the traditions, norms, mores, and such were clearly birthed at Microsoft (and to a lesser degree Xerox Parc and HP) and seeded to all those companies that followed. Beyond that, with some exceptions (the discussion on winning the X Prize, for example), I felt the book devolved into a cross between "I'm a billionaire and still don't feel fulfilled" and "then, I played guitar with Mick Jagger." I stopped about 80% of the way through and have no desire to finish.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By marcia53 on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book from beginning to end. I thought what he wrote about Gates was fair and nothing as bad as what some of the press on the book made it out to be. Sounded like a friend, co-worker relationship to me. What I found really interesting was he tells what he does with his money in life. I found it more fascinating to read that and to see how much more rounded he is than anyone would think. I always wonder what do the truly wealthy do and he tells how he lost and how he has made his money. I think the most interesting thing he is into is the medical research. Seems like he would be a great guy to work for. Couldnt put the book down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rui Jorge Cruz on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been a real pleasure to read Paul Allen's "Idea Man" - a pleasure both intellectual and humane. In his life, Allen has indeed enjoyed a rare combination of circumstances that made possible an early journey in the world of PC software and personal computing. But his illness path has confronted him with the sense and the values of a superior human existence, no matter the opportunities in place.
The way he describes the glorious days pre-Microsoft (as well as the early years at new-founded company) is quite vivid: anyone can feel and imagine how he and Gates have lived those times.
On the other hand, I was touched by his effort to provide a fair and objective description of his old pal Bill, who has given him a good deal of friendship, camaraderie and complicity but also made him suffer a lot with his competitive attitude, his selfishness and his confrontational way regarding everyone else.
Thus Paul Allen gives us a rich set of glimpses about his splendid life without hiding his most felt sufferings, letting us share in a way those heroic times of his.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?