3 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Paul Allen Microsoft Co-Founder

Posted on January 11, 2020Comments Off on 3 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Paul Allen Microsoft Co-Founder

The founding of Microsoft is usually associated with Bill Gates. But he didn’t do it alone. A certain Paul Allen was part of the creation of a software that revolutionalized the internet system. Paul Gardner Allen passed on on the 15th of October. Before his death, he was the 46th richest man on the planet. Bill Gates released a statement that read, in part, “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.”

The dead are gone, but what can living entrepreneurs learn from the life of Allen Paul? Here are three things we know below.

1. The Pursuit of money is not a lifetime endeavor

Paul Allen was born in 1953. He left Microsoft in 1983 before his 30th birthday. Paul Allen practically retired from work at the age of 29. While he left, he owned millions of Microsoft shares which made him a billionaire when Microsoft shares hit the sky.

What did Allen Paul do with the rest of his life? He sailed on yachts, enjoyed art, rock music, and sports. He spent billions in philanthropy and championed efforts on brain researches.

Paul Allen died at 65 which is rather far from the age many would select to die at, but Allen enjoyed his life for 35 years. In a way, a man who retires at 65 and dies at 80 only had 15 years off-work to enjoy his wealth. Allen died 15 years short of 80 but had twice the post-work rest.

This is not to say you should stop working as soon as you hit it big. No, the point is to have it in mind that wealth pursuit is not a lifetime endeavor. There is a time to quit. And the earlier you do it,  the longer your retirement enjoyment.

2. University education is not a prerequisite for business/innovative brilliance

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are two of the many business icons who made leaving school to pursue passions very attractive. But Paul Allen might have started the trend. Two years older than Gates, Allen left Washington State University in 1974. According to the book which Bill Gates co-wrote in 1985, The Road Ahead, it was Allen who made him leave school to concentrate on programming full time.

Paul Allen pestered Gates for one year until Bill Gates gave in, left school and Microsoft was born.

University education is important but in the business world, innovation is more important. If you have the innovation and the will to pursue a trade or startup, don’t let education stand between you and your dreams. The good news is that education can wait, your opportunity might not. Learn from Allen, your future first.

3. You mustn’t live in a big city to succeed

In the case of Nigeria, you don’t have to be in Lagos to make it. When Allen and Gates agreed to start a company, Allen left Washington DC. He didn’t move to New York City; not Chicago, not Los Angeles. The duo moved to Albuquerque in New Mexico. You probably haven’t heard of the city before, but they moved there and worked there for a couple of years.

In contrast, in Nigeria, like other developing countries, so many startup owners would rather leave their small towns to Lagos. That is where the big deal is, they say of Lagos. Perhaps so, but it is no guarantee. Sometimes, staying put in your small town where you can enjoy a low cost of living and work with less time on traffic and less unnecessary bubbles, would serve your goal better.

Learn from Allen Paul. A goldfish has no hiding place. You can live this adage.

Finally, there are many other things to learn from this successful billionaire. For instance, some will point to the fact that he never got married as evidence that marriage doesn’t add any brick to the wall of greatness. This argument, as tempting as it is, is ridiculed by the plethora of married men on the Forbes list. Paul Allen lived a life of a unique innovator, he would be missed. His style would inspire many.