Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, records an episode of the Numbers Geek podcast earlier today at his office in the Seattle region. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) With even more than normal, Steve Ballmer might not have seemed like an analytical guy to casual fans watching his LA Clippers come back from a 31-point deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff matchup earlier this week. It was the biggest comeback victory in NBA playoff history. But as listeners to , the former Microsoft CEO has a passion for numbers, as well. Earlier today, before recording a future episode of the show about the upcoming annual report on the U.S. government from Ballmer’s nonprofit civic data initiative , we took the opportunity to have him analyze the stats from the Clippers’ historic win. Listen to this short bonus episode below, or subscribe in your favorite podcast app, and continue reading for highlights from his comments, along with a copy of the box score from the game. “We were down 73-50 at halftime and we won 135-131, which tells you we outscored the opponent by 27 points in the second half, scoring over 40 points in (each of the final) two quarters, which is essentially unheard of,” Ballmer said. But “the thing that really flips is the shooting percentage” in the second half, he said. The Clippers shot 66.7 percent from the floor in the second half, and ended up shooting 56.5 percent for the game, vs. 53.3 percent for the Warriors. The Warriors “had a major rebound advantage at one point” earlier in the game, but by the end of the game, the Clippers were at 34 rebounds vs. the Warriors 38 rebounds, “which was a big deal,” Ballmer said. He added, “I would say the most important thing to take a look at, at the end of the game, was how many turnovers both teams had. Both teams had a lot of turnovers, 22 for the Warriors, 19 for us. I worry sometimes about us two ways. Turnovers and rebounding, sometimes offense, but mostly turnovers and rebounding. And we wound up pretty close to the Warriors on both sides. They had a couple more rebounds. And they also had a couple more turnovers, which means we both got about the same number of possessions. We just put the ball in the basket better.” Of course, this was just one game. The series resumes Thursday night at Staples Center in LA with the teams tied at one game apiece. Also check out , with audio from Ballmer on the baseline at Staples Center. We’ll be back soon with another episode of the show.
Via Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is never short of courtside enthusiasm while watching his LA Clippers compete, as we documented on . But on Monday night, he took it to another level, as he witnessed a bit of NBA history as his team overcame the largest deficit ever in the playoffs with a 135-131 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers trailed by 31 points before mounting a comeback to stun the defending NBA champs at home in game two of the opening round series. Ballmer has owned the team since 2014 and they failed to even make the playoffs last year. It wasn’t looking like they’d be around long this year after a 121-104 loss on Saturday. But the founder of has got to be geeking out over the stats this morning: The Clippers’ comeback win was UNBELIEVABLE
Sources say Jody Allen is reshaping the leadership team for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in the wake of last October’s death of her brother, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. (Allen Institute / Kevin Cruff Photos) Five months after the death of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the billionaire’s sister is taking steps to put her own stamp on a family foundation thought to hold at least $750 million in assets. Sources tell GeekWire that Jody Allen, co-founder of the , is bringing fresh blood to the charitable organization. Among the names being mentioned as potential additions to the foundation’s board or to an advisory panel are former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nancy Peretsman, managing director of the New York investment bank Allen & Co. Three sources discussed the transition on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. No principals in the process — ranging from representatives of the foundation and the Allen family’s holding company, Vulcan Inc., to representatives of Ballmer and Peretsman — were willing to provide comment. Changes in emphasis have already come to light in the form of , and organizational shifts at the and But based on the reports from sources, the transition to the post-Paul era is likely to take months longer, if not years. Most aspects of Paul Allen’s legacy are staying constant: For example, the research institutes that Paul Allen created — focusing on subjects ranging from neuroscience to cell science to artificial intelligence — are said to be on solid footing for years to come. That’s largely due to arrangements that Allen made before his . In the past, the family foundation was exclusively directed by Paul and Jody Allen and people who worked for them. show the two Allens as the foundation’s sole directors. The organization’s officers and managers were all Vulcan executives, with the exception of assistant secretary Allen Israel, who was Paul Allen’s personal lawyer. The same forms list the foundation’s net assets as $756 million, with $43.4 million paid out for charitable purposes during 2016. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation supports a wide range of charitable programs — including efforts to monitor climate change’s effects on glaciers, on the world’s oceans and on coral reefs. It backed the , which , and is continuing to focus on employing high-tech tools for wildlife conservation. Combating homelessness, promoting arts and culture, and encouraging health innovations are also part of the foundation’s portfolio. Last year, the foundation to get a homeless resource center off the ground in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood. It has a rich history of . And just this week, it kicked off a challenge program aimed at . Widening a family foundation’s circle of advisers is a classic phase of organizational evolution, particularly after a major transition like the death of a founder, said Benjamin White, an Atlanta-based estate attorney who specializes in family-based philanthropy but isn’t familiar with the Allen family’s detailed circumstances. “If you want the foundation to continue for a very long time, you’ve got to get outsiders involved,” White told GeekWire. The shift suggests that the foundation could plot a future course distinct from that of Vulcan Inc.’s for-profit ventures. Ballmer and Peretsman may not have a direct business relationship with Vulcan Inc., but they’re not total outsiders, either. Peretsman worked with Paul Allen on a series of investment ventures going back more than two decades, including investments in and . She was named in Paul Allen’s as an alternate personal representative in case Jody Allen couldn’t take on that role. Ballmer, meanwhile, got to know Paul Allen during their time together at Microsoft. Allen in his 2011 autobiography “Idea Man,” but in the years that followed, the two billionaires became close friends. When news of Paul Allen’s death broke last October, Ballmer was one of the . “Paul was a truly wonderful, bright and inspiring person — and a great friend,” he wrote. “I will miss him.” In his post-Microsoft career, Ballmer built up years of expertise running his own family charity, the , and getting involved in civic projects such as . (Ballmer and USAFacts are partnering with GeekWire on a podcast and video series called ) He even credits Paul Allen, who bought the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, with getting him involved in the sports world through his . “He used to yell at me, ‘Steve, you got to do it, it will fire you up,’ ” . “That too changed my life for the better.” If Ballmer takes on a role with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, he’ll be in a position to return his friend’s favor.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (played by John Moore) raises a smartphone in a scene from “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.” (Seattle Opera Photo / Philip Newton) You shouldn’t expect to glean startup tips from “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” the one-act opera playing at the Seattle Opera. And don’t expect to hear the brand names “Apple” or “iPhone” or “Microsoft” sung. But you can expect to see and hear the tangled story of Apple’s enigmatic co-founder told on a literally operatic scale. There’s also a message for techies that can be boiled down to the first words flashing on the supertitle screen, even before the first note sounds: “Look up. Look around. Be here now. And turn off your devices.” Devices like Apple’s iPhone figure heavily in the staging of “(R)evolution”: Even the set elements that swirl around the stage and serve to project backdrops are proportioned like giant iPhones. The first big aria in the work, with music by Mason Bates and libretto by Mark Campbell, celebrates the iPhone’s introduction in 2007: “Only one device / Does it all / In one hand / All you need.” But devices are never all you need, even for an introspective, obsessive genius like Jobs. Rather than focusing on the gadgetry, the core of “(R)evolution” focuses on the connection that he failed to keep up with an early lover, and the connection he was able to maintain with a later lover. It helps to know the basic outlines of Jobs’ life, which was cut short in 2011 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. To know, for example, that he had difficulties acknowledging a child by one woman — but had three other children with another woman who became his wife. Or that he was ousted from Apple for a time, but returned to Apple’s CEO post after “going back to the garage” and creating a different company called NeXT. It also helps to know postmodern classical music: Bates’ score blends lush symphonic melodies and guitar tunes with the clicks of electronica and the tinkle of Buddhist prayer bells. If you’re comfortable with Philip Glass’ opera about Mahatma Gandhi, or John Adams’ you’ll be in familiar musical territory. If you’re not, you could be in for a challenging hour and a half. In the opera, Jobs’ character (played by John Moore) is guided through the scrambled scenes of his life by the shade of his Zen teacher, a Buddhist monk named Kōbun. “What are you doing here? You died five years ago,” Jobs says when Kōbun (played by Adam Lau) walks on stage. “I’m your spiritual mentor. I’m always around,” the monk replies. Kōbun takes Jobs through a timeline that zips back and forth through his childhood in the ’60s, the origins of Apple (and Jobs’ first child, Lisa) in the ’70s, Jobs’ rise and fall and rise at Apple in the ’80s and ’90s, and his 21st-century apotheosis and death. The twists and turns trace Jobs’ arc as detailed in Walter Isaacson’s definitive biography, right down to the acid trip that he took in a field just outside Sunnyvale with Lisa’s mother, Chrisann Brennan (played in the opera by Madison Leonard). “All of a sudden the wheat field was playing Bach,” Jobs told Isaacson. “It was the most wonderful feeling I had in my life up to that point.” Bates picks up on that epiphany in the “(R)evolution” score, and the scenery goes psychedelic. For what it’s worth, Campbell’s libretto includes the disclaimer that his work doesn’t purport to depict actual events or statements, and that the story has not been authorized or endorsed by Apple, Jobs’ family or by anyone depicted in the opera. (I can hardly wait to see what composers and librettists do with the operatic arc of Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ life.) “(R)evolution” isn’t exactly structured like an arc. Instead, it’s a circle, like the Ensō ring that plays such a significant role in Zen iconography. Even the smartphones in the opera are branded with the Zen circle rather than the trademarked Apple logo. It’s up to the character of Jobs’ widow, Lauren Powell Jobs (played by Emily Fons), to help close the circle by imagining what “Version 2.0 of Steve” might say to the masses peering at the iPhones that are so much a part of his legacy. “Look up, look out, look around. Be here now,” Lauren sings. “And then he’d say, ‘Please buy them, but don’t spend your life on them.’ “