What a magical moment, those youthful fancies. I know that very spot they stood and it still is the same I guess -- all the traffic on either side of the newsstand, street singers, students running to their classes, eating places to decide upon, bookstores ... and the ideas that bloomed from there are so many.
Bye, Mr. Allen.
Really sad he went so soon; RIP.
That's quite a statement, wow. I wonder if it's moments like this that distinguish really, really successful people from the rest.
Citi, SEC, SAMSUNG, dozens of others...he certainly seems like he's in the former group.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates were friends from early teenage years until the 60s, until death. Through so much change in the world, much of it instigated by them. Through becoming some of the richest, most powerful people on the planet and then turning into philanthropists together. Nearly half a century.
I literally cannot imagine the emotions Gates has to be going through as he writes this note. My heart goes out to him as much as Allen's family.
I am sure there were things between them, that no one else could empathize with.
> Paul Allen: Gates, Ballmer tried to 'rip me off'
> "One evening in late December 1982, I heard Bill and Steve speaking heatedly in Bill's office and paused outside to listen in," he writes in his memoir. "It was easy to get the gist of the conversation. They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. It was clear that they'd been thinking about this for some time."
I can imagine there could be good reason to dilute someone by issuing more stock to the remaining productive collaborators. That would depend on the scale, and method used to calculate the proportion, and of on obtaining consent from the diluted party.
Cutting a business partner out of his fair share while he's in the middle of battling a life threatening disease, a good reason. I guess you went to the same school of ethics as Gates :]
> Here we are in school. That’s Paul on the left, our friend Ric Weiland, and me on the right.
In case you are wondering https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric_Weiland
Here is another article discussing how he distributed his wealth:
The number of times I have heard of this misfortune is sometime truly astounding. A whole community ravaged by an illness that we don't have a solution to, with the government turning their back to it.
Reagan and the US government not only “turned their back” and failed to act for years, leading to conservative estimates of thousands of new infections that could’ve been prevented; they also also actively interfered: for example, Congress banned the use of federal funds for prevention campaigns that “promoted or encouraged, directly or indirectly, homosexual activities”. So a lot of the prevention campaigns became ineffective fear-based propaganda rather than what was needed: targeted education to vulnerable communities about safer sex and needle drug use practices.
Do you also think the government is turning their back to cancer? The reality is if a cure is to come, it will come from private industry (for profit companies).
That beacon has grown a little bit dimmer.
And yet still, the impact Paul Allen has had on Seattle shall remain for generations to come.
If Bill Gates is just a person and not a hero, you don't have to explain away any of his mistakes. You don't have to elevate him for his philanthropy. You don't have to make any judgments about him, unless it has any bearing on any decision or action you have to take.
Gates has himself admitted that he was a bully, yet people feel the need to defend him.
Rockefeller ruthlessly destroyed lifes but he was also committed philanthropist that started to give six percent of his earnings to charity at age 16. As he grew richer he gave more.
Nobody is driven to donations because they are tax deductible. Deductions just allow you to donate more than you would have.
He probably did it to gain favor with God (most of his charity was church-based until he got fabulously wealthy), but of all the things done in the name of God, charity is a pretty good one.
That said, Ballmer addressing employees, he bled the company on his sleeve. Even having disagreements on how things were, the genuine feeling coming from him - in person or on video - was actually contagious - for a time.
Things are not black and white.
My only knowledge of Paul Allen outside of stories about Vulcan ventures was knowing people that worked at one of his properties having to sign NDAs, which is understandable.
No one is black and white. Faults should not be washed over, achievements over blown, hopefully we all add something net positive in our finite time.
Probably not without them involved, but you can at least discuss the possibility at some point.
"I had some money and a friend. I lent my money to my friend. I lost my money... and my friend."
If your partner is not working, or working less, get the board to grant you a bonus, or an increase in your salary, or a decrease in his salary.
Allen retained his full Microsoft stake and yielded tens of billions of dollars from the Microsoft that Gates, Ballmer and others proceeded to build up in the coming 15-20 years.
I suspect there are few here that haven't had insulting conversations about other people. Said negative, rude, belittling things that they later regretted. Hurled a very mean statement in the middle of a fight. Discussed leaving a spouse behind their back. So on and so forth.
It's not necessary to excuse the behavior of Gates, it was a crass mistake by a 27 year old. Allen retained his ownership, forgave Gates, and that's that.
Or maybe they didn't do it because got caught?
Like, they were talking about it, but didn't realize what they were talking about? They just realize about it later?
Look, I agree that we all do shitty things in life. And, most of the times, we know that we are doing shitty things when we are doing them. No excuse, just bad human behavior. Everybody does it. And it is despicable.
I actually agree that it's not a nice thing to discuss/think, the difference is I’m not pontificating about it as if I’m morally superior. In my view, that’s just as bad.
And what does "Demonizing != distaste for cheating a friend." even mean? You are attempting to defame Gates and Ballmer because of an uncomfortable conversation that they had 30+ years ago that they ultimately didn't act on! So no, they weren't evil. Cold, perhaps for having the conversation. I'd actually argue that they are merely human, just like the rest of us; wonderfully imperfect.
There are lot of parallels to Zuck and Eduardo except that Allen was lucky enough to be at right place and right time to overhear the plan to dilute his stack and prevent it before it was executed.
In most instances like this the co-founder is likely to continue vesting as normal. Whether all parties are happy with this arrangement or not is likely to vary significantly from case to case.
i.e. if one co-founder cannot work as much as the other, should there be a change in compensation?
You can make sure that "your people" (operating from the mindset of corporate feudalism) are taken care of, that if they die prematurely from illness or accident their families are taken care of, and that if they are rendered simply unable to work they and their families are not worse off than in the worst case, without giving someone multi-digit ownership of the company.
It's something to consider when you start drawing up paperwork for your own startup, grisly as that may seem. What happens when one of your founders is struck by a bus a day, a month, a year, five years into the venture? How much of their vested and unvested founder-share goes to their heirs? Does it make a difference if their heirs are their children, their spouse, their siblings, or their favorite charity? Do you want to turn their founder-share from your super-voting shares to a share class with less voting power upon transfer [is that even legal? with vested or unvested shares?]? Does it make a difference if they are killed or merely incapacitated?
It's not a pleasant thing to think about, and it won't matter most of the time, but when it does...
In the first case, you might think "eh, they'll be fine anyway." But the magnitude of the money is not directly related to what is a fair reduction.
(lucky in the sense that, it could have ended much sooner, but it must be quite a horrible way to live. In my opinion)
They started and ended as friends, the rest are details
"In December 1982, when Allen was sick with cancer, he overheard Gates and Ballmer discussing his lack of contributions and how to dilute his equity by offering stock options to other employees and shareholders. Allen confronted them and quit a little bit later. " 
Don't read any of the more recent happy articles. Search for articles and books from the early days when the real truth was printed.
I wonder did Gates ever manage to get the shares back?