Idea Man

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Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft
Idea Man.jpg
AuthorPaul Allen
CountryUnited States
PublisherPenguin Group (U.S.)
Publication date
April 19, 2011
Media typeE-book, Print (Hardback and Paperback), and Audiobook
Pages384 pp.

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft (2011) is the New York Times bestselling memoir by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Published in 2011 by Portfolio, a Penguin Group imprint, the book recounts how Allen became enamored with computers at an early age, conceived the idea for Microsoft, recruited his friend Bill Gates to join him, and launched what would become the world’s most successful software company.

The book, reveals the often conflicted partnership between Allen and Gates, and how — when Allen was recovering from cancer — Gates unsuccessfully conspired to dilute Allen’s 36 percent share of Microsoft. Idea Man also explores Allen's business and creative ventures following his 1983 departure from Microsoft, including his involvement in SpaceShipOne, his purchase of the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks, his passion for music, and his ongoing support for scientific research.

Described by critics as candid, profound and incendiary, Idea Man is a true story of ambition and ideas made real.


The Guardian: “There's an important lesson here that has subsequently been airbrushed out of the Microsoft legend: Allen's contributions to the partnership were as critical as Gates's. Without the tools that he developed, and his insight into the infrastructure that software development requires, Microsoft's subsequent growth would have been impossible.”[1]

Kirkus Reviews: ..."surprisingly profound and refreshingly frank."[2]

USA Today: “…complete and candid…”[3]

The New York Times: “The book reads well.”[4]


  1. ^ Naughton, John. "Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Idea Man Kirkus Review". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  3. ^ Weinberg, Steve. "Microsoft co-founder's memoir candid, complete". USA Today. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  4. ^ Rivlin, Gary. "Paul Allen: Microsoft and Me". New York Times.

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