Coolest Entrepreneurs: Paul Allen,


Paul Allen | Age 54 |

The cool roots run deep with Paul Allen.

After earning a bachelor’s in Russian from BYU in 1990, he spent over two decades as a founder and entrepreneur, shaping and shifting our valley to be the business mecca it has become.

Infobases, Ancestry, 10x Marketing, Provo Labs, FamilyLink. If there’s an iconic local company, chances are Allen had a strong hand in it.

He then spent five years as a Global Strengths Evangelist for Gallup in Washington, D.C. And today? He is CEO of, the world’s first AI platform for talent development and life maximization.

“It’s about quality of life — not longevity!” Allen says.

Quality. Longevity. Innovation. History. Legacy.

Save some strengths for the rest of us, would ya?

First Things First


FIRST JOB Paperboy at the Daily Herald.

FIRST EMAIL ADDRESS Can’t remember! It was the ‘80s when I used Compuserve or Prodigy.

FIRST OBSESSION Dungeons & Dragons. I basically played full time during 7th and 8th grade.

FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH Farrah Fawcett, 6th grade.

FIRST WHEELS 1968 Dodge Dart. I drove this when dating my wife Christy. 400,000+ miles.

FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET TO WORK Open Google Doc with my list of thousands of ideas and things to do.

FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET HOME Drop my backpack/laptop off in my home office.

FIRST BIG BREAK In 1990, Deseret Book placed a $28,000 order for our floppy disk-based scripture products — that’s when my partner and I quit our jobs and went full time in our first company.

FIRST FAILURE We had to lay off family and friends in our first company when revenue dipped for the first time.

FIRST RULE OF SUCCESS Know your strengths, play to your strengths, find partners with complementary or compensatory strengths.

FIRST RULE OF COOL Let wife make all my dress and grooming decisions (e.g. trimmed beard=sexy).

Last Things Last

LAST TEXT YOU SENT Text to my chief of staff authorizing salary and stock option grants for two amazing women execs who used to run the AARP coaching platform.


LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO “Uptown Funk.” My wife and I were teaching our 1-year-old grandson some sweet dance moves.

LAST PODCAST YOU LISTENED TO “Obey Your Strengths” by Kathy Kersten.

LAST BOOK YOU READ “The Arabic Alphabet: How to Read and Write It” by Awde & Samano.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS “What would happen if we focused on what is right with people.” — Don Clifton, father of strengths psychology.


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