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The Accidental Zillionaire

The Accidental Zillionaire
Your Price: $50.00 CDN
Author: Laura Rich
Publisher: Wiley
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 250
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0471234915
ISBN-13: 9780471234913

About the Book:

An in-depth look at one of the world's richest-and most secretive-businessmen.

Though his wealth is certainly no secret, the billionaire often described as "Microsoft's other mogul" remains an enigma. Paul Allen made his fortune as Bill Gates's partner in Microsoft, supplemented it with questionable, though often profitable, venture capital schemes, and has since invested his wealth in a widely divergent list of interests.

He owns the NBA's Portland Trailblazers and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. Dubbed the "Accidental Zillionaire" by the tech magazine Wired – a reference to the fact that virtually all his money came from the rocketing share value of Microsoft after he left – Paul Allen has often appeared to be a bumbler who succeeded primarily through luck and by co-opting the visionary ideas of others. He has sunk many millions into more than 50 companies – among hundreds of smaller ventures, he was a major investor in DreamWorks SKG, the Steven Spielberg Hollywood studio, and formerly held a large piece of the widely despised Ticketmaster monopoly – but showing a remarkable reverse Midas touch his track record has been generally pretty poor. His cash pile has dwindled steadily downward, dragging him down the rich list (he was once at number three), and reinforcing the "Accidental Zillionaire" reputation he is said to loathe.

In The Accidental Zillionaire, business and digital entertainment writer Laura Rich, one of the foremost chroniclers of the Internet economy, unravels the secret Paul Allen, his inner motivations, his vision, and his personality. She tells Allen's story from his days as a fledgling computer geek in suburban Washington state, to his role in founding the world's largest software company, to his battle with cancer, to his sycophantic flirtation with Hollywood and its brightest stars. Paul Allen is a man of various interests and passions, but few if any know him well. The Accidental Zillionaire for the first time reveals the inner workings of a towering figure in the worlds of technology, business, sports, and entertainment.

What people say:

"Laura Rich's book The Accidental Zillionaire: Demystifying Paul Allen is the first biography to analyze the reclusive Allen and tries to answer the question of whether Paul Allen is himself an industry giant, or just an incredibly lucky guy." — Chicago Tribune

"a cutting new biography." — Newsweek

"…for the first time reveals the inner workings of a towering figure in the worlds of technology, sports, and entertainment…." — Computer Consultant

"…questions Allen’s patchy business track record since leaving Microsoft – and details his billionaire lifestyle…." — Business Eye (Northern Ireland)

"…Rich has finally presented a balanced view of Allen’s achievements…." — M2 Best Books

About the Author:

Laura Rich is a former writer for The Industry Standard, Adweek, and Inside Media. She currently covers the world of digital entertainment for Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, and The Hollywood Reporter. She penned The Standard's popular "Rich List" report and has reported on Paul Allen for years.