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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies

by Greg Robertson on October 16th, 2018


Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner, dies at 65

“Gates, in a statement Monday, said he was “heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.” Personal computing would not have existed without Mr. Allen, he said.

“But Paul wasn’t content with starting one company,” Gates said. “He channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world. He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.’ That’s the kind of person he was.”

Growing up I consumed everything I could about Microsoft. Tons of books, every newspaper article, every television interview. Those of you who know the origin story of Microsoft understand that Bill’s quote above is not overstated.

I love this quote from Paul Allen about failure. It was in a talk he gave about the first product he and Bill Gates worked on, called Traf-D-Data (a device to measure traffic patterns)

“Objectively speaking, Traf-O-Data was a failure as a company. Right as our business started to pick up, states began to provide their own traffic-counting services to local governments for free. As quickly as it started, our business model evaporated.

But while Traf-O-Data was technically a business failure, the understanding of microprocessors we absorbed was crucial to our future success. And the emulator I wrote to program it gave us a huge head start over anyone else writing code at the time.

If it hadn’t been for our Traf-O-Data venture, and if it hadn’t been for all that time spent on UW computers, you could argue that Microsoft might not have happened.”

As I sit here in the audience at the Fall RESO Conference and look around at all the attendees I can’t help wonder what 2 people are going to create next big thing. If two guys from Lakeside School can change the world, then what’s stopping us?

Thank you Paul.

From → Love, News, RIP

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