Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen finally lost the battle to cancer and died yesterday.
He died from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a condition he contracted at 29 years old during the early years of Microsoft.
Only two weeks ago, he had revealed the condition had returned but expressed optimism he and his doctors were on top of the issue. He had mentioned he would continue with business as usual as if all was normal. Reports say he was very active on emails, giving advice, talking strategy and helping out the mass of people who depend on his intellect down to the end.
Such focus and faith in the face of hard news are not new to Allen, as these were the traits that saw him become a billionaire regardless of his fall out with friend, Bill Gate over stock ownership.
Shortly after his death was announced, Bill Gates said: ‘i am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him.’
‘Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously,’ according to a statement by Bill Gates.
In a statement confirming his death on Monday afternoon, his sister Jody described the businessman as a ‘remarkable individual on every level.’
‘Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity, and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends,’ the statement said.
‘At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.’
Paul Allen dabbled into many other interests and at the heart of all his endeavors was pursuing potential to reality. Gate reportedly said about him that He(Paul) was fond of saying about ideas, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.’ That’s the kind of person he was, Gate said.
The businessman was worth about $20 Billion at his death. He owned both the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team and the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, who won the US Superbowl in 2013.
He has spent over 2 billion on charitable courses throughout his life and was always passionate about giving back and spending his time, his life, optimally.
Nuggets from Paul Allen
Recounting his row with Bill Gates over stock ownership when he was being offered the deal to leave the company by underselling his equity stocks due to the demands of managing his illness and keeping up with the hectic pace of building the tech company, Paul said:
‘If I were to relapse, it would be pointless–if not hazardous–to return to the stresses at Microsoft. If I continued to recover, I now understood that life was too short to spend it unhappily.’
That’s a golden truth, Life is too short to spend it unhappily. These apply to all of us, whether we are dealing with a chronic health condition or not. The demands of family, financial needs, societal expectations make many people stick to jobs that pay the bill, but that they hate. These things are important to be sure, but when seen through the prism of our finiteness, life should be lived happily. It’s not ideal to spend the short time we have miserable.
So even though we have to do some things, it’s important we determine to never spend more time than we need to do what makes us unhappy. Always look for other paths to tread, the one that feeds your soul as well as meets your financial needs. After all, a wisdom from one of the holy books states; life is worth more than bread or the body, the clothes we wear.
After leaving Microsoft, Paul went on to become a successful venture capitalist, setting up his media and communications investment firm, Vulcan in 1986.
‘Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal,’ Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said in a statement.