Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I have perhaps one friend that I've known more than 15 years. Part of it is that I seem to be bad at keeping friends, and also because I spent a decade moving around a lot and just lost touch with people.

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.

Add to the fact that Paul Allen was probably the only person who saw the meteoric rise to billionaire-dom at the same time as Gates and in the same way.

I am sure there were things between them, that no one else could empathize with.

They did have a falling out but it seems they reconciled. Paul Allen claims BillG tried to cut him out of Microsoft when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.



> 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."

Thanks. Did we ever hear Gates’ side of the story?

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.

@DenisM: “I can imagine there could be good reason to dilute someone” ..

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 :]

Many companies can die with the dying partner if the remaining partners are not able to capitalize and run the business in his absence.

I see it more as greed than administrative prudence.

Wouldn't we have to know about details of the situation?

This happens every year, and in every single company that you know of. People who remain employed are given retention grants, diluting the people who are no longer employed and receive no such grants. Do you think that's unethical?

Not in this case. Clearly Microsoft did fine without doing it .

Heh, you can find apologists for anything these days huh

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact