PAUL ALLEN: IN HIS OWN WORDS 
 
Who is Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen?
 
Well, you’re about to find out.
 
This fascinatingly mysterious
Renaissance Man, who rarely gives interviews and comes out in public
only when he’s founded some new scientific or philanthropic venture, has decided to tell the story of his life in an upcoming memoir.  
 
See…
 
 
I can hardly wait!!!
 
Despite his reclusive reputation, Paul Allen has actually done a lot of
talking through the years, in speeches, in the smattering of interviews
he’s given to a lucky few, and in other public writings and appearances.  


And on those rare occasions throughout the past 30 years he’s given a pretty good glimpse of who he is,
expressing what he cares about, his hopes and dreams, his vision of the
future and even proffering a word of wisdom or two for future generations. 

  

So, here are some of the best of those speeches, quotes, interviews and
insights into Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen from the man himself: 

  

 
1970’s 
 
  
Local Boys Make Good 
Dec. 31, 1999 
 
Gates and Allen are seldom seen together in public, except at courtside during NBA games. But in 1995, to mark Microsoft’s 20th anniversary, they did sit for a copyright interview with Fortune magazine (which both read as kids). Over three hours, the two looked at what they had created and what they saw ahead.  
“By the time we got to Albuquerque to start Microsoft in 1975,” Gates recalled, “the notion was fairly clear to us that computers were going to be a big, big personal tool.”  
   
Allen added, “I remember having pizza at Shakey’s in Vancouver, Washington, in 1973, and talking about the fact that eventually everyone is going to be online and have access to newspapers and stuff and wouldn’t people be willing to pay for information on a computer terminal.” 
  
(Note for the record, that he said this in 1973!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
 
Inside Out: Microsoft—In our own words Sept. 2000 Microsoft 
  
“I expect the personal computer to become the kind of thing that people carry with them, a companion that takes notes, does accounting, gives reminders, handles a thousand personal tasks.”
Paul Allen January 1977 
 

 

1980’s 

 

1986 

  

From Todd Bishop’s former PI blog, here’s a retro of the article that appeared in the Seattle PI on March 14, 1986 when Microsoft went public: 

  

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/102018.asp 

  

From the article: 

  

  

“Microsoft’s two founders – Bill Gates and Paul Allen – were made instant millionaires by the offering, but they didn’t seem fazed by all the hoopla. Allen went to work as usual at Asymetrix, the company he founded last year in Bellevue. Gates was in Australia on business.  

  

”I’m pretty happy,” said Allen. ”Everybody involved with Microsoft since the beginning has been looking forward to this day.”  

Allen said he might go out for some champagne to celebrate, but that the offering wouldn’t otherwise change his life.” 
 
(Well, maybe it did just a little….:-) 

 

Then began life after Microsoft. Allen started out with Asymetrix, making “software specifically designed for the new, more powerful 286 and 386 microprocessors.” Forbes, 4/6/1987 “The Next Chapter (Microsoft’s Paul Allen founds Asymetrix) by Edward F. Cone. 

From the article: 

  

“Microsoft has been phenomenally successful, which has been great for me,” says Allen. “Now we just want to have some fun and push back the existing boundaries of applications software.” 

 

 

1990’s 

 

 In 1993, few envisioned the enormous possibilities of the Internet, and yet Allen was already viewing the computer as an interactive multimedia device, a window to the “wired world.” One of his early “Wired World” investments was in Ticketmaster. 

  

See Seattle Times 11/23/93; Paul Andrews “Microsoft Co-founder Allen sees new first as ticket to interactive TV” 

  

From the article: 

  

“Allen, who helped jump-start the Information Age in 1975 through his development, with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, of the BASIC software programming language for the first personal computer–has assembled an intriguing cast of investments potentially tied to a nationwide Data Highway. 

  

There are a number of areas in sports, music and entertainment where ticketing and related merchandise could be made available on an Information Superhighway,” Allen, 40, said in a telephone interview.  
 
Today that idea is commonplace—in the early 90’s it was downright prescient.

  

 

And check out this 1994 article from Computerworld “Paul Allen’s On-line Kingdom” 10/3/94 Stuart J. Johnston. 

  

What I call the “wired world” is a scenario where everybody is basically on-line via inexpensive, high-bandwidth digital channels into pretty much everybody’s home and place of business,” Allen said.  

 

 

 

 The marriage of video technology, computer technology, and networking is another sea change, where you try to ride the incredible wave that’s coming. That’s the core convergence of ideas for the information superhighway,” says Allen, gazing out of the giant picture windows and seeing the future. “So you say, ‘Okay, we’re getting a whole new medium here, what can we really do that people haven’t thought about in their individual areas?’ It’s not just showing movies on demand. What wholly new applications and user interfaces and products and services can you deliver?” 

“Over the Horizon with Paul Allen: Another Microsoft Billionaire Speaks.” Fortune: 7/11/1994 by David Kirkpatrick. 
 
 

So in 1995, Allen invested in yet another wired world venture, this time in Hollywood. See “Allen Shares Belief with Dreamworks” USA Today; 3/20/95; by Dottie Enrico.  

  

From the article: 

  

“I’ve been looking at ….investments in the entertainment business because I believe there’s going to be a melding of computer technology with entertainment content,” Allen told the Associated Press. 
 
(Today the “Wired World” is a veritable cornucopia of entertainment that is available to nearly anyone, anywhere at any time via computers.)
 
2000 to Today
 
 This vision is a passion that he continues to pursue even today.  Despite a few current market hurdles, Paul Allen’s ventures have now expanded into a wider variety of areas; everything from semantic web technologies to innovative alternative energy companies. Check out this site to learn more about Paul Allen’s current investments and creative ventures:
 
 
What else would you like to know about Paul Allen? 
Well, there’s lots more to come!  Stay tuned for Part Two: Paul Allen in His Own Words