Paul Allen has written an autobiography called “Idea Man.” Indeed, he has had several ideas since leaving Microsoft. He bought and still owned the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA as well as the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. He opened the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle. He’s also been active in philanthropy work and real estate holdings.
But it’s his time at Microsoft that most people think of when they think of Allen. In our conversation, Allen remembers when the only computers anyone could get a hold of were at universities. He recalls the excitement of what was possible as the era of the personal computer began to dawn and how the crew at Microsoft put in long, crazy hours, fueled in part by the excitement over what they were creating.
As for the company of today, Allen recognizes that same zest for innovation in what’s being done with the Kinect platform, which is no longer just for games. At the same time, he sees Microsoft as being late to the game on innovations like the smartphone. Microsoft, he says, has been working in this area for a while, but it has let itself fall behind.
Also in this program, Google Video is getting ready to disappear. We recap a few of the best videos you can find there if you act now: The Cube, the 2004 Collegiate Debate Championship, and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Many more available at Metafilter.
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