HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 2 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / World Wide Web / Working with Gates Like 'Being in Hell'
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
Working with Bill Gates Was Like 'Being in Hell,' Allen Says
Working with Bill Gates Was Like 'Being in Hell,' Allen Says
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
APRIL
18
2011



Ever wonder what working with Bill Gates might be like? According to fellow Microsoft founder Paul Allen, the experience was like "being in hell."

That quote comes from a piece about Allen on Sunday's 60 Minutes TV series. The occasion of the feature is the publication of Allen's new book, Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft. The program's reporter, Lesley Stahl, notes that Allen's book indicates he was too proud and angry to tell Gates directly, "Some days working with you is like being in hell."

'Fight Back'

Gates' propensity to berate fellow workers is not unknown among Microsoft watchers, although his public image has mellowed since his foundation has undertaken such worthy challenges as curing diseases in third-world countries.

The 60 Minutes story includes footage of a young Gates yelling at his coworkers and treating them with contempt. Allen said on camera, and in the book, that such occurrences were common.

He described Gates as a taskmasker, adding that the only way to deal with him was to "fight back, intensely, to stand your ground." Because Gates would stand his ground as well, Allen said, such confrontations could go on for hours.

At one point, Allen recalled on the program, he thought he was getting marginalized. Walking by an office where Gates was in conversation with Steve Ballmer, who later took Gates' place as Microsoft CEO, Allen said he heard the two men talking about diluting his share down to "nothing." At this time, Allen was in treatment for cancer.

Allen and Gates have known each other since they both attended a private school in Seattle. In the 60 Minutes story, Allen recalled the two of them, in their early teens, diving into dumpsters to retrieve "secret inner codes of the operating systems" of early mainframe computers. He also recalled Gates, at age 13, wondering what it would be like "running a Fortune 500 company."

'A Bond There'

Allen acknowledged Gates is a gifted programmer and a shrewd businessman, and recalled that Gates expected others to devote their life to Microsoft. But, as his book title indicates, Allen sees himself as not only a fellow programmer, but as an idea man.

One of Allen's ideas that Gates didn't completely dismiss was that the two of them could provide programming for the early personal computer, the Altair, that would give the machine some of the versatility of big computers. Allen recalled bringing the Altair to the attention of Gates, who was then a student at Harvard. The two began to develop programming for the machine, an effort that became Microsoft.

When Allen left Microsoft, he owned about one-third of the company and he became a multibillionaire when Microsoft went public. Stahl pointed out that the book is part of an effort by Allen to showcase himself as a "tech visionary," but, she said, there was a danger he could be branded as "a bitter billionaire."

Allen remembered that, when he got cancer a second time in 2009, Gates came to his house "multiple times." Allen said that, between the two Microsoft founders, "there's a bond there that can't be denied."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

jamdev12:
Posted: 2011-04-18 @ 5:01pm PT
Yeah I can imagine been in hell with a few billion dollars in the bank. Sure. Right.

Tony:
Posted: 2011-04-18 @ 3:42pm PT
why would I read about this when I can watch it for myself on the Internet. It doesn't make sense!

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN WORLD WIDE WEB
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
Sony is no stranger to breaches. Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked in 2011 and attackers obtained 77 million user accounts. The latest attack comes against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.