Magazine article Management Today

You Live & You Learn: Hermann Hauser, Multimillionaire Co-Founder of Acorn Computers and Amadeus Capital Partners

Magazine article Management Today

You Live & You Learn: Hermann Hauser, Multimillionaire Co-Founder of Acorn Computers and Amadeus Capital Partners

Article excerpt

'Boy, you're going to learn English,' my father said when I was 15, handing me some language school brochures. 'It's the most important language.' The choice was Exeter or Cambridge. But the train connections were better to Cambridge. I did the same with my kids. I said you should go to Beijing to learn Chinese, and they did.

Chris Curry came to me and said, 'I don't like working for Clive Sinclair any more. Why don't we start our own company?' 'Sure,' I said, 'How much does it cost?' He said, 'pounds 100, have you got pounds 50?' 'Yes,' I said. 'But what are we going to make?' 'Microprocessors,' he replied. That's how we started Acorn.

It was one happy community back then. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison - you got to know the personalities. The degree of arrogance differed, but if you took the average it was still way above. We knew we were the chosen people who were going to change the world. And we did!

People still occasionally come up and thank me for the BBC Micro. My proudest achievement is contributing to educating a whole generation of software programmers.

We didn't see the mobile revolution coming. A big reason Acorn spin-out ARM was so successful is something I hadn't planned - low power, which is a side effect of us adopting RISC technology in our chips. …

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