Paul Allen’s memoir, Idea Man, is out in paperback this week, and the Microsoft co-founder has penned an epilogue updating readers on some of the book’s major storylines — including the status of his friendship with Bill Gates.
The book’s unvarnished account of Gates — from his unusual eating habits to his efforts to dilute Allen’s stake in the company — was part of Allen’s broader effort to tell his own life story “exactly as it happened,” as Allen puts it in the epilogue.
“Not everyone loved everything I wrote,” writes Allen. “Some of my Microsoft friends were piqued that I’d cast the company’s recent history in ‘not the most favorable light,’ as one of them told me. But almost everyone soon got past their unhappiness — with the exception of Bill Gates.”
Allen writes that he and Gates had no contact for more than a year, and he feared that their friendship “might be permanently ruptured.” However, after Allen’s mother, Faye Allen, passed away in June, Gates told Allen how sorry he was to hear the news, and that he hoped to renew their friendship.
“I believe we will be friends again,” writes Allen. “The history we share is more powerful than whatever comes between us.”
The epilogue is dated June 3. Gates was later reported to have visited Allen’s yacht when it was moored in London during the Olympics.
Other topics addressed in the epilogue include Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems space venture, his company’s work on the Amazon campus in South Lake Union, Microsoft’s release of Windows 8 — he’s rooting for the company — and his follow-up $300 million commitment to expand the work of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
For more on the book, see my interview with Allen at Town Hall Seattle last year.