Every once in a while I’ll be checking out Wikipedia, just click-click-clicking my way down the rabbit hole and stumble onto something that is truly amazing. Today was just such a day. Today I discovered an extremely doin it man named Nathan whose wikipedia entry impressed me/shamed me so thoroughly that I have to share it with you.
Nathan Myhrvold (born 1959 in Seattle, Washington), formerly Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, is co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, which is seeking to build a large invention portfolio. He personally holds more than 18 U.S. patents and has applied for more than 100. His company is accumulating patents in software.
There’s the basics: 18 patents, 100 applied, Microsoft CTO, etc.
Myhrvold attended Mirman School,  and began college at age 14. He studied mathematics, geophysics, and space physics at UCLA (BSc, Masters). At Princeton he earned a master’s degree in mathematical economics and completed a PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics by age 23. He also attended Santa Monica College. For one year, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge working under Stephen Hawking, studying cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space time and quantum theories of gravitation, but left to co-found a computer startup in Oakland, California. The company, Dynamical Systems Research Inc., sought to produce Mondrian, a clone of IBM’s TopView multitasking environment for DOS. Microsoft purchased DSR in 1986 and Myhrvold worked there for 13 years. At Microsoft he founded Microsoft Research in 1991.
Educational and early professional life. Studied under Hawking. Nice. Hobbies?
Myhrvold is a prize-winning nature and wildlife photographer. He is also involved with paleontological research on expeditions with the Museum of the Rockies. His work has appeared in scientific journals including Science, Nature, Paleobiology and the Physical Review, as well as Fortune, Time, National Geographic Traveler and Slate.
He and Peter Rinearson helped Bill Gates write The Road Ahead, a book about the future that reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 1995 and 1996.
Myhrvold has contributed $1 million to the SETI Foundation for the development of the Allen Telescope Array, planned to be the world’s most powerful radio telescope.
And to top it off…
In addition to his business and scientific interests, he is a master French chef who has finished first and second in the world championship of barbecue in Memphis, Tennessee. He also works as an assistant chef at one of Seattle’s leading French restaurants.
Awesome dude, that’s all I’m saying. I realize it’s Wikipedia, but it seems fairly thoroughly referenced, and so I think you’ve got to give it up to this power nerd.
Here’s a piece partially on him written by Malcolm Gladwell for the New Yorker.
Here’s his talk from TED entitled “A Life of Fascinations” Be prepared though. In Gladwell’s words, “He is gregarious, enthusiastic, and nerdy on an epic scale.”