By his early thirties, Paul Allen was a world-famous billionaire-and that was just the beginning. In 2007 and 2008, Time named Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, one of the hundred most influential people in the world. Since he made his fortune, his impact has been felt in science, technology, business, medicine, sports, music, and philanthropy. His passion, curiosity, and intellectual rigor-combined with the resources to launch and support new initiatives-have literally changed the world. In 2009 Allen discovered that he had lymphoma, lending urgency to his desire to share his story for the first time. In this classic memoir, Allen explains how he has solved problems, what he's learned from his many endeavors-both the triumphs and the failures-and his compelling vision for the future. He reflects candidly on an extraordinary life. The book also features previously untold stories about everything from the true origins of Microsoft to Allen's role in the dawn of private space travel (with SpaceShipOne) and in discoveries at the frontiers of brain science. With honesty, humor, and insight, Allen tells the story of a life of ideas made real.
If you have an interest in things entrepreneurial and wonder if you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, then this book is written for you. Authors Bill Bolton and John Thompson offer a unique focus, seeing everything through the eyes of the entrepreneur. This refreshed third edition is split into two fascinating parts. Part I builds an understanding of the entrepreneur as a person based on the key factors of talent and temperament - a unique framework for understanding and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities. The process of starting and growing a business and the infrastructure and environment in which the entrepreneur has to operate, are described in detail. Part II tells the stories of famous entrepreneurs including classic figures such as Henry Ford, through to social entrepreneurs and even anti-social entrepreneurs such as Al Capone! This insightful, empirically based, original take on the entrepreneur, and thereby entrepreneurship, provides students with a new and challenging way into the subject.
Some people are skeptical about religion. Others about politics. And still others about romance. But what about those who sniff out pure BS on just about everything? Now they have the only resource they'll ever need to guide them through an irreverent look at the "big questions" that have intrigued all of mankind for centuries: thought-provoking inquiries from "What's the Worst Country in the World?" to "Can I Predict When I Will Die?" and everything in between. The Skeptic's Handbook pulls no punches, and no topic is off limits. But rather than offend, it simply makes you laugh as you realize that ultimately the dumbest thing we can do is to take life too seriously. Why miss out on the absurdity of it all, when that can be such a big part of the fun? Filled with one-page reflections, each designed to answer a "profound" question (such as "Are There Any Jews in Mongolia?"), this indispensable resource will leave you marveling at the foolish nonsense of a world that somehow manages to function despite the often bizarre machinations of a species known as homo sapiens. Laughter really can sometimes be the best medicine...though a hard-core skeptic will be quick to point out that medication is just as likely to kill you.
The hilarious story of two brothers, a truckload of batteries, and a brilliant plan to bring light--and new business opportunities--to Ghana At age 47, Whit Alexander, the American co-founder of the Cranium board game, decided to start a new business selling affordable goods and services to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, came along to tell the story. Neither of them could have anticipated just how much of an adventure they’d find there. In Ghana, Whit's initial goal is to market a high quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers could use to power their flashlights and radios, as well as to charge their cell phones. If successful, he planned to grow a larger for-profit business based on those batteries--creating a trusted African brand that would provide life-enhancing products, services, and jobs, without relying on charity. Ghana, however, presents extraordinary challenges, and the brothers wage daily battles against deadly insects, insane driving conditions, unspeakable food, voodoo priests, corrupt officials, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their way to success. From signing up customers who earn a few dollars a month at most to training employees with no Western-style work experience, the brothers quickly learn that starting a business in Africa requires single-minded focus, a sense of humor, and a lot of patience. Along the way, Whit and Max relive their own childhood, bickering across the African bush and learning a great deal about Africans as well as themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately inspiring, Bright Lights, No City challenges accepted notions of charity, shows the power of broadening your horizons, and suggests that there is hope and opportunity in Africa. Praise for Bright Lights, No City: "An affectionate, good-humored and finally inspiring account of one American's determination to make good things happen." --Kate Braestrup, New York Times bestselling author of Here If You Need Me "My boss, Bill Gates, coined the phrase 'creative capitalism' to encourage the use of market forces to address the needs of the poor. But my friend, Whit Alexander, moved creative capitalism from ideas to bold practice. Bright Lights, No City will scratch your travel bug, tickle your business brain, and touch your heart." --Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, which helps to prove that what much of the developing world needs is a hand up, not a hand out." --John Wood, founder of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World "I loved, loved, loved Bright Lights, No City. A tour de force! Bravo. It's perceptive, informative, thoughtful, engaging, funny." --Carey Winfrey, editor emeritus, Smithsonian magazine and former Africa correspondent, New York Times "Max Alexander has woven a compassionate and oft-times hilarious tale of the Brothers Alexander's attempt to save the world, one rechargeable battery at a time. If you have any interest in a great story or helping the other 4 billion, read this book, now." --W. Hodding Carter, author of Westward Whoa and A Viking Voyage "A lyrically written universal testimony to the humanity that binds all people together on this fragile planet, Bright Lights, No City is a deeply moving and funny, can't-put-it-down book." --Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God "This book is filled with the passion and relentless pursuit that it takes to make dreams come to life, and reminds you that it takes compassion, luck, and humor to make history. A must read for every entrepreneur." --Richard Tait, Co-Founder, Cranium; CEO, Galazo