They were teenage computer geeks, bespectacled kids from Seattle who taught themselves programming from a Teletype terminal, learned the basics of business from Fortune magazine and dreamed of “a computer in every home and on every desk”.
Paul Allen , who has died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma aged 65, was the self-described “idea man”, the shy son of librarians. Bill Gates was the business-oriented partner who brought the ideas to life. And in 1975, when Allen was 22 and Gates was 19, the friends formed a company that became known as Microsoft, and unleashed a personal-computer revolution that made both men fabulously wealthy. The pair had met at Lakeside, a private school in Seattle.
Allen was sometimes described as an overgrown teenager, whose billions had enabled him to invite Stevie Wonder to perform on his yacht, hold a masked ball in Venice, build a $100m pop-music museum and acquire sports teams near his hometown of Seattle, including the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks and a share of the Seattle Sounders soccer team.
But he was also an early signer of the Giving Pledge, an initiative led by Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage wealthy individuals to donate the bulk of their fortunes to charity. By Allen’s count, he gave more than $2bn to causes that included an effort to battle poaching in Africa with an armada of drones; research to cure ebola; and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which completed a map of the human brain in an effort to understand the origins of consciousness and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Virtual Reality Doesn’t Have to be Expensive. The idea that virtual reality is expensive to produce comes up over and over from businesses interested in creating an experience. The truth is although virtual reality can be expensive, it isn’t always expensive. Like most things, virtual reality’s price greatly depends on the scope of the project. Companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in the technology. However, other companies like YouVisit can create the same type of experience with costs ranging in the low to mid five figures.
Paul Allen, business tycoon and philanthropist, born 21 January 1953, died 15 October 2018