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Paul Allen Rips Bill Gates In Autobiography

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the your-mother-dresses-you-funny dept.

Microsoft 249

itwbennett writes "Bill Gates was guilty of 'mercenary opportunism' when he schemed with Steve Ballmer to dilute Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's equity in the company while Allen was recovering from Hodgkin's disease, according to Allen. In his upcoming autobiography, 'Idea Man,' which is excerpted in Vanity Fair, Allen paints a portrait of Gates as brilliant, focused, driven ... and ruthless. According to Allen, Gates in the early days twice sought larger equity in the company on the grounds that he 'did more.' Allen says he acquiesced each time, both because he understood his partner's reasoning and to avoid major conflict."

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249 comments

Does it surprise anyone... (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674850)

...That Gates and Ballmer are scheming cut-throats?

Say it ain't so! (-1, Offtopic)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675054)

Bill Gates can't be bad. He created and sold us Bob and Windows Me. He only wanted everyone to have computers that are reliable and easy to use.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675086)

Paul Allen has $13 billion. Please excuse me if I find it difficult to feel sorry for him.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (4, Insightful)

thsths (31372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675366)

The two good points are made, can we close the discussion now, before it gets ugly?

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675142)

Nope.
It's just nice to hear it confirmed by somebody with first-hand experience.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (2)

sodul (833177) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675502)

I've got first hand experience: I have been the involuntary user user of Microsoft products over the past 20+ years. Right now Exchange and Sharepoint.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (2)

fivevoltforest (2012744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675174)

Really, does anyone get to where Bill Gates is right now without screwing a couple people in the process?

Yep - He did it to Steve Jobs (2)

Readycharged (2023636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675452)

Really, does anyone get to where Bill Gates is right now without screwing a couple people in the process?

Legend has it Steve Jobs asked Bill Gates to write GUI software for the Mac. In a nutshell, Bill Gates thought, "Sod that" and stole the idea and subsequently Windows was birthed. Could be the reason why Apple are so anally secretive to this day....

Re:Yep - He did it to Steve Jobs (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675644)

Apple lift their ideas from all over the place so they're not angels by any measure whatsoever.

Re:Yep - He did it to Steve Jobs (0)

wisty (1335733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675806)

Especially not Jobs. The guy who wouldn't recognize his daughter, probably to avoid paying alimony.

Re:Yep - He did it to Steve Jobs (2, Informative)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676106)

You mean right after Jobs lifted his GUI and mouse from Xerox?

Re:Yep - He did it to Steve Jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676142)

Go find out how many shares Steve gave xerox for the privilege.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675714)

Actually I believe Bill got where he is because of who his mom was screwing...

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675674)

Oh it wasn't just him, I remember a story about how Jobs fucked Woz out of something like $1500 by saying that the game that Woz wrote that Jobs sold to Atari had only netted $300 (and thus making Woz's half $150) when it actuality it had sold for something like $3000, and this was supposed to be his friend..

I bet if someone did a full psyche work up on most successful CEOs you'd find that damned near every single one is a sociopath because to reach that level of success and power one has to be willing to fuck EVERYBODY, friends, family, workers, everyone they come in contact with. So is it any surprise that Gates did what probably every other top CEO did and fucked his colleague? Sadly we reward sociopaths when it comes to business.

Doesn't make him any less of a douche, it just gives him a hell of a lot of company, Jobs, Ellison, I bet every major tech CEO that has reached the billionaires club has a hell of a lot of fucked over friends left in their wake.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676110)

Their hobby is screwing people. If they couldn't get paid for it, then they would do it for free.

Re:Does it surprise anyone... (4, Funny)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676152)

.... or $1 a year.

That's how you sell an autobiography (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674858)

Saying nice things about people never sold anything. If he said nice things about Gates, would the book even be on Slashdot?

If you want your autobiographical book, newspaper, magazine, etc. to sell, you have to be at least a little mean.

That's how you sell Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35674920)

Saying nice things about people never sold anything. If he said nice things about Gates, would the book even be on Slashdot?

If you want your autobiographical book, newspaper, magazine, etc. to sell, you have to be at least a little mean.

So when is Taco going to do an autobiography?

Re:That's how you sell Slashdot. (5, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675036)

So when is Taco going to do an autobiography?

"I wanted to be the poll option, but CowboyNeal sought the position, and I acquiesced every time..."

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (4, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674938)

Gates was always ruthless, egotistical, and manipulative in his dealings with others -- possibly even sociopathic. His recent change is just Robber Baron Guilt playing itself out like it always does. No one wants to go down in history the way he was going to go. You've got to distract the public, donchaknow?

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675204)

If he truly would be a sociopath, he wouldn't feel guilt.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (4, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675370)

Sociopaths are really good at mimicking normal emotions. In this case, it looks like guilt, but it's really just as self-serving as ever.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675562)

Your reasoning fails a basic sniff test; The public at large has nothing like your nerdrage-based antipathy towards Bill Gates.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (2)

EnigmaticSource (649695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675852)

You've never know a (clinical) sociopath; they're quite good at faking anything that furthers their wants.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675574)

Experiences with sociopaths/narcissists does make one paranoid...

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675948)

Sociopaths are really good at mimicking normal emotions. In this case, it looks like guilt, but it's really just as self-serving as ever.

You're thinking of psychopaths.

Robber Baron Guilt (3, Interesting)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675308)

His recent change is just Robber Baron Guilt playing itself out like it always does.

Robber baron's don't get guilt. Their "charity" is a sneaky form of hubris.

Re:Robber Baron Guilt (2)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675364)

"Guilt" is what I call it, but it's really a form of egotism, just as you say, They realize their mortality and want to continue to live on through foundations and buildings, changing their image in the process.

Re:Robber Baron Guilt (3, Interesting)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676264)

> Their "charity" is a sneaky form of hubris.

I agree on this one but I would say this is something recent.

A good friend of mine is working for some AIDS-related NGO in Africa and she told me that the Gates foundation is using the same nasty methods than made Microsoft what is is today, crushing the "competition" and using their big bucks to do some arm-twisting and whatnot so things are done their way. Knowing that Warren Buffet pledged to give billions to that charity (while refusing to put his own children in his will) is not good news for her.

However some insanely rich people did some good in the past. Think about Rockefeller, who had cut-throat business practices but also gave billions for science and education. The research centers he built and financed were responsible for eliminating a lot of diseases in the south of the USA (such as the ringworm). Also his money was crucial for the development of the University of Chicago. The Rockefeller foundation was created in a way that prevented interference from Rockefeller business and it was managed by consensus, so one single guy could not run the show. It is still active today.

In the case of Rockefeller it was possibly a religious thing; for many baptists it is a virtue and a lifestyle to make a lot of money, to save every cent, and to share a large part of this money with the needy. As for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, seeing how they gave nothing until very recently, one could wonder if they are not simply trying to buy themselves a good name or a good conscience.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675650)

Thus the Gates Foundation to be remember by something else. Plus I'm sure it does MS no harm with him being all charitable and still supporting Windows. Everyone is a winner......

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675706)

I find.... take this carefully, I wfind ultrasmart people, which gates is, tend to get tired of pretending to be on the same level as others and get tired of false gratitude. Yes, I did just pull the 'Our better has a right to look down on us' in so many words

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674958)

Telling the truth isn't mean, and you don't get to be the richest guy in the world by sharing. You get there with a combination of perfect luck, extreme talent and motivation, and by using every trick in the book. If you didn't, somebody else who did would be #1.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675406)

Or you have a mom on an executive committee with the CEO of IBM when they are shopping for an operating system for their new PC.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675446)

That's the "perfect luck" part.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675742)

Bill Gates didn't merely stick to tricks in books. He could easily write some new books on dirty tricks. He won't, because it'll make him look bad, so others other doing it for him.

I don't think all billionaires used tricks that were quite as dirty as those of Bill Gates. Larry and Sergey seem rather nice, for example. I'm sure there are others.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

Kharny (239931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676168)

Yeah, the two guys who stole their revenue method from someone else seem "nice"

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (5, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675002)

Not to mention at the bottom of the article:
According to Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Allen's portrayal of Gates "in the book is already making waves within the tight circle of early Microsoft alumni, with several people who know both men privately expressing confusion about Mr. Allen's motivations for criticizing his old business partner and questioning the accuracy of Mr. Allen's interpretation of certain events

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675030)

Well, yeah, a scandalous book might sell more, but does Paul Allen really need the money?

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675098)

Well, yeah, a scandalous book might sell more, but does Paul Allen really need the money?

Just in case he doesn't, I'll be torrenting the PDF ebook scan all night.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675340)

Well, yeah, a scandalous book might sell more, but does Paul Allen really need the money?

You see... if it wouldn't be so scandalous, I bet that Paul Allen would had it published under a CC license.

But... lawyers are expensive, better be safe than sorry.

(GRIN)

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675272)

I'm sure you're right, but I have to wonder why he much cares if his book sells well. He's worth $13 billion. Perhaps it's vanity or legacy-building, but then there wouldn't be much incentive to get nasty or even hyperbolic, would there?

I guess the other conclusion is that he really did just feel like he was robbed... which I'd have a little trouble feeling bad about given his enormous wealth and, let's be honest, Gates' leading role in the acquisition of said bankroll.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675620)

> Saying nice things about people never sold anything. If he said nice things about Gates, would the book even be on Slashdot?

Quite possibly, as a shock factor. This is pretty much as we expected.

Re:That's how you sell an autobiography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676224)

The guy has 13 billion. Does he really need to sell any book?

I would never have guessed! (0, Redundant)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674862)

Who could have ever pegged Bill Freaking Gates as a ruthless opportunist? Who exactly thinks this is news?

Re:I would never have guessed! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35674896)

Who could have ever pegged Bill Freaking Gates as a ruthless opportunist? Who exactly thinks this is news?

It's news because of who is saying it.

Re:I would never have guessed! (2)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674918)

Fair enough, but you have to expect a bit of animosity between Allen and Gates honestly. From what I understand those two didn't see eye to eye much.

Re:I would never have guessed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675064)

Ballmer is not as genious, he's just given the position. Does M$ know which way to go now?

He understood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35674880)

he understood his partner's reasoning

So... what, it wasn't a problem years ago, and now that he has a book he wants to sell it is? Pass.

Re:He understood? (0)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674978)

I wonder why he would need to sell a book. I mean.. he's got 13 billion dollars or something. JK rowling would be lucky to have cleared a billion, and that's for 7 of the best selling books + movies etc. Paul allen's Yachts combine to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and he'd be lucky to make millions from his book.

Re:He understood? (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674984)

I wonder why...

He's clearly still bitter about being pushed out of MS around the time he had the cancer...

Re:He understood? (1)

amw (636271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675676)

I wonder why he would need to sell a book. I mean.. he's got 13 billion dollars or something.

By your own logic, that means that money isn't the reason (something which most other authors will also claim, although probably slightly less honestly). The only other one that comes to mind is to allow him to put the record straight about the relationships between himself, Gates and, to a certain extent, Ballmer. To some people, making sure the truth is known is important.

Of course, the book isn't about Allen and Gates, and I doubt it's even 'about' Microsoft any more than iWoz was 'about' Apple. They're just the elements that will generate the most interest and get people wanting to read more.

Re:He understood? (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675166)

He understood, does not mean he agrees. One can understand the logic of the argument and not agree with the logic.

Re:He understood? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675372)

He understood, does not mean he agrees. One can understand the logic of the argument and not agree with the logic.

... going further (and OT as well), even agreeing with the logic doesn't imply acceptance (like in: "make a Sophie's choice")

Wondering (1)

kdsible (2019794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674976)

How much content is ACTUALLY true i wonder? True though like " MrEricSir" says saying nice things don't sell. A good capitalist knows how to make a buck.

Re:Wondering (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675126)

That "nice things don't sell" says more about us than Mr. Allen.

But but he said his stuff was always cheaper (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35674982)

Bill Gates always claimed that his stuff was cheaper than everyone elses, and he barely made any money at all. Thats why he has made the Forbes greediest list for such a long time, his priest-like oath to poverty. I heard the story about how Allen would be pale, vomiting, and shivering over a console, while Gates tells Ballmer, that if he doesn't put in a full 60 hours a week, and get the project done on time, he forfeits 80% of his stock. Gates didn't contribute any code, not much for ideas, but he did have the company. Oh, and he had more greed than any of the others. Some also described him as a sonofabitch. But you never heard that from me.

Re:But but he said his stuff was always cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675708)

Forget the money and look at his accomplishments, why doncha? Isn't he on a par with Gutenberg? Hasn't his contribution to science changed the world and in a much more meaningful and positive way than the technology that led to, oh, say, the atomic bomb? And exploding nuclear reactors? Let's try to keep things in perspective, kids, all right?

Re:But but he said his stuff was always cheaper (2)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676048)

You are comparing Bill Gates' accomplishments to the science behind splitting the atom, really? Nuclear energy was one of the crowning achievements of the last century, and that it failed to live up to its promise is a tragedy caused by politics, nothing more. In perspective, it is still the safest and cleanest source of energy [nextbigfuture.com] we have, and that doesn't even consider all of the deaths due to wars motivated by oil.

It might surprise you to know that the inventor of those "exploding nuclear reactors" was actually opposed to their being used for commercial power production. Dr. Alvin Weinberg was pursuing a far better alternative [energyfromthorium.com] , which could not explode, could not melt down, burned the nuclear fuel completely, and produced very little (and short-lived) waste. It also didn't produce Plutonium for the weapons program, which was likely the deciding factor. Unfortunately, questioning the safety and direction of the nuclear program lost him his job as director of ORNL, and here we are today, left to wonder, "what if?"

It isn't too late though; the idea is sound, and indeed they did operate a liquid floride reactor for five years without incident. All we need is public awareness of this tragically wasted opportunity, so we can pick up where they left off, and fulfill the promise of nuclear. Unlimited safe, cheap, and clean power--along with an end of the use of fossil fuels and associated pollution and conflict.

Re:But but he said his stuff was always cheaper (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676268)

You are comparing Bill Gates' accomplishments to the science behind splitting the atom, really?

And your point is? I would rank Microsoft over nuclear power as an accomplishment for the 20th century.

Re:But but he said his stuff was always cheaper (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675710)

worked out just as planned.

Paul's the Good Guy? (3, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674986)

Is Paul the good guy in this scenario? Nope. Not even close.

Re:Paul's the Good Guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675164)

Sometimes "bad" is a necessary evil to get closer to the truth.

Re:Paul's the Good Guy? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675382)

Sometimes "bad" is a necessary evil to get closer to the truth.

One wonders: in this context, is "getting to the truth" of any consequence?

Re:Paul's the Good Guy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675312)

Is anybody a good guy in this scenario?

Re:Paul's the Good Guy? (2)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676178)

Maybe he's saying these things more out of respect than dislike.

Paul Allen "rips" Bill Gates? (2, Insightful)

RR (64484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35674988)

Calling Bill Gates ruthless and greedy, this is controversial? It seems rather a compliment compared with what other labels you could legitimately attach to him.

Re:Paul Allen "rips" Bill Gates? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675672)

Cant agree more, and he still acts ruthlessly and greedy but this time even worse because he is using the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation as a shield to very shoddy and dirty investments. Abusing poor third world countries is a new low.

Re:Paul Allen "rips" Bill Gates? (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675722)

you mean it's a new market he's gonna to be the best in. Jealous?

Cry Some More .. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35674992)

About how he diluted your shares so you only have $10 billion dollars.

Re:Cry Some More .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676062)

About how he diluted your shares so you only have $10 billion dollars.

Precisely. It is not as if he did a Steve "Greedy Bastard" Jobs who famously refused to give any equity to one of the
Apple developers famously saying that he would match the developer's 0% share with 0%.

Easy to see why Apple is evil.

(Word is contempt. How accurate)

patented! (2)

molecule1 (1752394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675018)

Paul Allen Awarded Patent: Ripping Bill Gates, Via Autobiographical Publication

tiniest violin (2, Insightful)

rritterson (588983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675020)

Yep, you got so screwed that you only became a billionaire instead of the richest person on earth. If only we could all be so fortunate.

Re:tiniest violin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675350)

You only got "Insightful" because :"Moronic" isn't a proper Mod. He's rich so "fuck em"!!!!! Gee those grapes aren't the least bit sour. What in the bloody fuck does his person net worth have to do with any of this????? Is the truth different for the rich than us lesser mortals???? My heart bleeds for your dumb ass! Troll me, as AC I can afford the mod points!

Oh poor Paul (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675048)

Paul Allen rode Bill Gates to his riches, and now Bill Gates (the better man) is perhaps the greatest philanthropist in history while Paul Allen predictably rides his fleet of yachts in the Mediterranean and manages his sports franchises.

Re:Oh poor Paul (5, Informative)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675104)

He has been involved with philanthropy in the U.S. Pacific Northwest for 20 years, largely through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, handing out more than $1 billion in grants and funding for local projects.[1] [reuters.com]

Last year he pledged his remaining wealth (USD13.5B) to charity.

Allen has been a philanthropist since Gates was at the height of his douchebaggery. You ... you're just an ass.

Re:Oh poor Paul (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675718)

Bill Gates is no philantropist but rather just a rich dude avoiding paying taxes and making even more money than before by investing in Monsanto and other fine establishments. How investing in pharmaceutical and GMO and making big money is in any way connected to philanthropy is beyond me.

Bill Gates is just the same old greedy bastard who couldn't care less about unfortunate people. He just have a better PR army whitewashing his every move in mainstream media.

Re:Oh poor Paul (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675780)

Paul Allen rode Bill Gates to his riches,

This part is certainly true. But calling Bill Gates the better man? He really was a mercenary opportunist. Have you missed all of the Microsoft-related news of the past 30 years? The picture Paul Allen paints of him doesn't surprise anyone, because it fits perfectly in the picture Bill Gates painted of himself over the years. He's trying to change that picture now, but that doesn't mean that the past suddenly didn't happen.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675052)

Gates is likely to be that bad - and worse. A lot of hard-driving type-A company founders/co-founders are like Gates (Larry Ellison, Henry T. Nicholas of Broadcom) are known to be first-class pricks. And so what? Without Gates' drive it is highly unlikely Allen himself would have made Microsoft into the company it is today and he certainly wouldn't be the filthy stinking rich boot-licker who is opportunistically taking advantage of the position Gates endowed him with in the first place by talking smack about his old buddy.

Uh, well, it's TRUE... (1, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675056)

Paul Allen is complaining because Bill Gates wanted more equity since he "did more"? Paul Allen, for a long time the 2nd richest man in the world who pretty much stopped working at Microsoft in the early 80's and instead sunk a ton of money into failed tech companies and professional sports teams, was upset that Bill thought he DID MORE??

This guy's only smart business decision of his life was to partner with Bill Gates, and after that point his greatest business claim to fame is to lose more money on new ventures than anyone in history (Vulcan might as well be running their corporate furnaces on $100 bills...)

Re:Uh, well, it's TRUE... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675156)

Is Vulcan really losing that much? I lived in Seattle for most of the 00's, and the main mentions I heard of them were about sweetheart deals and owning much of Seattle -- for other people reading this, Seattle's Monorail project got killed because of a rich businessman who kept the mayors in his pocket and had security guards work to collect signatures from people entering his office buildings, while at nearly the same time the city paid for and built a ridiculous trolley almost solely because Vulcan/Allen wanted it.

Re:Uh, well, it's TRUE... (2)

Scott Scott (1531645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675190)

Correction: his first smart business decision was to partner with Gates. His second was to deride him publicly in a book about it.

The Bill and Melnda Gate Foundation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675210)

What an ObamaNation!

They scheme and swindle internation organizations, the UN, the Red Cross and even the U.S.A. Government, to do to them what Billy did the Allen.

Abonable.

They should be put down.

They represent the real and present Evil, along with their Boy (Manservent), Barak Hussain Obama.

BETTER TO BE BILLIONAIRE IN UK OR US ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675282)

Nevermind the tax situation. I heard you are better off with a billion ($) in the UK than a billion ($) in the US. True?

Re:BETTER TO BE BILLIONAIRE IN UK OR US ?? (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675736)

I'm sure you are not staving either way....

Facebook (1)

ace123 (758107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675338)

Am I the only one who thought of The Social Network when I read this article. That sounds like the same thing Zuckerberg did to Eduardo.

Is it common in big companies to dilute out the smaller players so that they won't be stuck with them forever?

Re:Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675392)

Am I the only one who thought of The Social Network when I read this article. That sounds like the same thing Zuckerberg did to Eduardo.

Is it common in big companies to dilute out the smaller players so that they won't be stuck with them forever?

When you don't do equal work and still get equal share, eventually your partner(s) will demand you either put in more time or gtfo.

Re:Facebook (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675436)

Even if it isn't common, given that it does happen would mean that in order to be among the very richest you will probably have to do it. I imagine lots of businesses haven't done this, but we won't be talking about how rich one of the partners is, because the money isn't concentrated in his hands.

Re:Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675500)

If a small company gets big with outside investment, somebody gets diluted. It's either a mutual hit or done at a single individual's expense.

If you're going to be a billionaire, you have two routes: a phenomenal product and a big share of the company or the product of a lifetime and a slightly smaller share.

Startups, contrary to any PR, can be as cold-blooded (if not more) than any other company.

Stock Dilution: Remedies? (3, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675658)

Is there any defense to stock dilution? I think this is a pertinent question, because a good number of /.'ers might be working for startups with stock as part of the package.

Are there standard contracts which prevent this, or should everyone have to hire a lawyer to pound out custom contract$.

If everybody's share is getting diluted at the same time, I guess that might be OK if the value is increasing.

Re:Stock Dilution: Remedies? (2)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675748)

You should always have a independent lawyer look over such a contract. I learned this in like 10th grade. It's not terribly pricey

Between these four guys.... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675474)

Hodgkin is the most sympathetic.

bjd

Must success be so arduous? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675550)

We hear this all the time. Successful business leaders are smart, extremely hard working, driven, greedy sociopaths. These MS guys of course are the most extreme of them all. Seems most tech business is this way.

There's a species of small marsupial in which the males compete so fiercely, even suicidally, for mates that the ones who survive the fights all die anyway after their first mating season. They're burned up from the constant, intense, no holds barred fighting, and the toll of their raging hormones. They plunder their own bodies for the energy and strength to win. Take them out of this environment and away from the fighting, and they can last as long as 5 years, same as the females.

Just what has Gates, Allen, Ballmer and company proven with all this ruthlessness, this extreme Protestant Work Ethic? That the ultimate measure of success is money? That education is not everywhere useful? Sad. What have they accomplished? Brought cheap computing to the world, which is something. But not availed themselves of it terribly well. Strangely for a tech company, MS has never been known as particularly innovative. They've been better than most at choosing among and running with ideas, not coming up with them. Gates is a Rockefeller sort, not an Einstein. They also try to grab, claim and lock down things. Many of their actions are done without much regard for ethics, as that whole OOXML fiasco showed. They really seem not to get it about DRM, and have aligned their views with, of all organizations, the RIAA's! Stupid. Perhaps if they respected education and philosophy more, they would act in more enlightened ways. Note that the early days of MS, as Allen describes it, is death marches and hell bent hacking, not research and definitely not study except where it had immediate practical application. It is Google that has been markedly more innovative.

Re:Must success be so arduous? (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675784)

Re:Must success be so arduous?

No, and often isn't, you just remember when it is because it gets reported on.

The inside truth about Steve Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675582)

http://zeroslashzero.limewebs.com/?p=283

Cringely told this story in 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35675668)

While it's interesting to see that the rumors were true, I'll point out that Bob Cringely scooped this five years ago.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_20060330_000890.html

Is sceond place first loser? (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35675774)

The innate yearning of a human to spot the winner is something interesting to behold. We some how hold up Paul Allen in conversations above me as 'the first loser'. I think this goes back to some primate instinct. Because he was 'bettered' by Gates, Gates is the awesome winner, and Paul the loser we trash talk? I'm sure tons of people here would like to be him

This is Gates at his best (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35676102)

I mean, being kind-of-an-asshole to Allen was the best thing Gates ever did over his life.

I also have to question portrayal of both Gates and Allen as competent programmers. What is described as their outstanding accomplishments, is something any decent programmer of that time would have to do every day, and most did that without the atrocious design that Microsoft is known for, ever since.

I'm with Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676258)

Well, I justify Gates on this one.
If you work your ass off to create the biggest Empire in history, while your partner is looking at the ceiling from his chair, I would be pissed off...
I'm sorry he had a nasty disease, but I don't think that was the reason for wanting him out.

It's no wonder why Allen is the least known of them. Gates was the ninja cutting throats out in the woods, what did you expected?

well well well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35676286)

brilliant, focused, driven and ruthless, well - that certainly IS news!

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