Just finished the book, Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft, by Paul Allen. It was a fascinating look into the digital genius, entrepreneur, philanthropist, musician and explorer whom, because of his private nature, few outside his world knew much about before this book.
I learned many lessons from the book though it was not one in which I found myself highlighting and taking notes on a continual basis. There were some gems, for sure, as might be expected when learning from such a successful person. Really, though, it was — more than anything — simply a very enjoyable read. Much more so than I even expected.
Allen grew up in a nice, middle-class family with loving Parents, a good imagination and, as it turns out, a fairly good grasp of computer stuff (insert major LOL here). 😉 He also sensed the potential it had to change the world in a positive way and he had the willingness to see it happen.
More than anything, it was his passion that came through the pages. In a quiet way, he threw himself full-force into whatever captured him at the moment. And, that was one of my biggest takeaways, the key insight into the man.
Near the end of the book, he wrote:
“Some people are motivated by a need for recognition, some by money, and some by a broad social goal. I start from a different place, from the love of ideas and the urge to put them into motion and see where they might lead.
“The creative path is rocky, with the risk of failure ever present and no guarantees. But even with its detours and blind alleys, it’s the only road that I find fulfilling.”
Here’s a man who, through the ideas he pursued (with his then business partner, Bill Gates) and the value he provided, became a multi-billionaire at a very young age. And, while the money was simply a means to an end that allowed him to pursue that which he chose to pursue, it certainly wasn’t about the money.
For Paul Allen, it was about the ideas; it was about putting them in motion; it was about seeing where they would lead.
What is it about for you? What moves you? What motivates you? What gets you up in the morning?
The Hokey-Pokey notwithstanding, this really is what it’s all about.
No, not what motivates Paul Allen; it’s about what motivates YOU. It’s about what YOU will throw yourself full-force into.
Please share with us what that is!