Q: What do Robin Williams and Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen have in common? 

A: They both currently hold the title, “Man of the Year” (o.k., “Person of the Year” in Allen’s case). 

William stars as comedian-turned-President, Tom Dobbs in the currently released film, “Man of the Year.”  

 See… 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483726/ 

And Allen graces the cover of Seattle Magazine, brain in hand (no kidding), designated as the magazine’s first annual “Person of the Year.” 

See… 

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,9947.shtml 

http://www.seattlemagazine.com/  

The magazine also features an exclusive interview with Allen, and a profile of the 26 people who have had the greatest impact in the Seattle area in 2006. 

 It’s nice that Allen has been honored in this way.  He tends to keep a low profile, although he has gathered quite a few awards through the years for his accomplishments. 

See… 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0020885/awards 

http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/pressroom/releaseDetail.cfm?releaseID=129

http://www.regents.wsu.edu/distinguished-alumni/recipients.html  

He’s received several technology-related awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from PC magazine, along with Bill Gates in 1995…. 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1384144,00.asp *1 

——————

 But the eclectic philanthropist has also received many other kinds of honors, especially through the companies he has founded. 

 He even won an Emmy once… 

See….

 http://www.linuxelectrons.com/article.php?story=20041119205339298 

A Peabody…. 

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16619 

…And a number of other awards too numerous to mention here.  

I’ve heard through the grapevine that Allen doesn’t have a wall of fame in his home, prominently displaying all of his honors and awards. I’ve also heard from a pretty reliable source that he doesn’t care what people say about him—good or bad. 

  And maybe that’s what keeps him sane and focused on the things that matter.  The guy is a risk-taker, and he’s taken a fair amount of heat for the ventures he’s embarked upon that haven’t turned out as planned. 

 SpaceShipOne could easily have been one of them, primarily because at the time he contacted Burt Rutan and commissioned him to build a spaceship, private space travel (and the X-prize idea in general) still had a  “giggle factor.” 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9615023/ 

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/rocketmen_tech_030507.html 

 But as history has shown, the risk-takers are the ones who break through the boundaries of current possibility and take humanity a step forward.   

Praise can be a distraction if you try to rely on it.  Honors come and go; fame is fleeting, fans are fickle and awards don’t always correlate with true success. 

 But I imagine that even for Allen, every once in awhile at least, being honored is kind of nice.  I’m sure that he feels that way about being chosen as Seattle’s “Person of the Year,” especially since he has always had a real soft spot for that city—his city. 

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. 

 *1 From PC magazine’s website—I think there was a photo error on the site…The award went to Microsoft’s Allen, but that photo is so not Paul Allen. I do not know who that guy is…. do you? 

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