What I liked about Paul Allen
The memoirs of Bill Gates about Paul Allen, with whom they, while still students, founded the company Microsoft in 1975 (the name of the company was suggested by Paul)
Paul Allen, one of my oldest friends and the very first business partner, died October 15, 2018 of the year. I want to express my regrets to his sister Jody, his family and many of his friends and colleagues around the world.
I met Paul in Grade 7, and this acquaintance changed my life.
I immediately began to equal myself with him. He studied two classes older, was very high and turned out to be a computer genius. (He still grew a cool beard, which I never managed to repeat). We started to hang out together, especially after the first computers entered our school. We spent almost all our free time, fiddling with whatever computer we could reach.
Here we are at school. On the left is Paul, in the middle is our friend Rick Weiland, on the right is me.
Paul foresaw that computers would change the world. Even in high school, even before one of us knew what a personal computer is, he predicted that the chips would become super-powerful and eventually create a whole new industry. His idea became the cornerstone of all our activities.
Microsoft would never have appeared without Paul. In December 1974, we lived in one district of Boston — he worked, and I was in college. One day he came to me and insisted that I quickly go with him to the nearest newsstand. Arriving there, he showed me the cover of the January issue of Popular Electronics magazine. It was a new computer Altair 8800, which worked on the basis of a powerful new chip. Paul looked at me and said: “This is happening without our participation!” This moment marked the end of my college career and the beginning of a new company, Microsoft. And this happened thanks to Paul.
Paul, as the first person with whom I began to work together, set the standard to which very few people could reach. He had a broad outlook and a special talent for explaining difficult things in simple words. Since I was lucky to know him from a young age, I saw him before the rest of the world knew him. As a teenager, I somehow became interested in gasoline (seemingly of all possible topics ...). What did "distillation" mean? And I turned to the most erudite person of all whom I knew. Paul explained it to me very clearly and at the same time interesting. It was just one of many conversations that shed light on various topics that we had for decades.
Paul was cooler than me. As a teenager, he was fond of Jimmy Hendrix, and I remember how he played for me " Are You Experienced?"“[Have you ever experienced it]. At that time I didn’t have any particular experience, and Paul wanted to share this amazing music with me. He was such a person. He adored life and people around him, and it was noticeable.
Another passion Paul, whom he adored sharing with friends, was a sport. Later he often took me to the games of his favorite Portland Trail Blazers team and patiently helped me understand everything that was happening on the basketball court.
Thinking about Paul, I remember an ardent man, treasured my family and friends. I also remembered Naya brilliant technologist and philanthropist who wanted to do great things, and do them.
Paul deserved more time. He would have extracted the maximum out of it. I'm going to miss him incredibly.