Michael Shane is a serial entrepreneur, classic American ‘self-made man’, and something of an unsung hero. His early career began selling wigs out of the back of his car and transitioned, surprisingly quickly, to changing the entire nascent personal computer industry.
I met Michael through my father, futurist Herman Kahn, in the mid-1970s. It was a time of manic pessimism about the future of both mankind and planet Earth. Michael was fascinated by my father’s belief that mankind will successfully traverse this time of the greatest change in human history. And Michael’s vision of the potential of the future has been driven since then by Herman’s belief that, with modern technology and the knowledge we now possess, we have the tools necessary to solve nearly every problem that faces us.

Michael helped to create that future full of potential with the founding of Leading Edge, the first company to manufacture and market IBM PC clones. In the mid 1980s, even IBM was not taking seriously their new ‘personal’ computer product line. At both IBM and around the world owning access to computing power, and the information it supplied, was only for big business and the wealthy. Because of Michael, and his motivating vision to use inexpensive computers to supply low-cost access to information, that can change the world, to everyone, an entire industry was kick-started and has become the norm.
In the almost four decades since Michael paved the way for low-cost personal computers in every home and small business in the world, he has been involved in numerous other entrepreneurial and charitable pursuits.

Today, an exponential increase in access to information is in everybody’s handheld phones and devices. Michael is watching for an opportunity to implement his belief that the U.S. needs to be in the business of manufacturing smart phones. And while Michael continues to keep an eye out for profitable opportunities, he is even more interested in the daily-increasing knowledge that addresses the suffering that has been humankind’s lot through the ages. A classic example is his interest in CRISPR and fast-tracking its potential to make ‘personalized’ medicine a reality, and to defeat genetic diseases and cancer – both directly and through enhanced diagnostics.
I admire and respect Michael for both his accomplishments and his vision. Michael is one of those people who, when I feel like the world around me lacks reason or hope, helps me to feel optimistic about the future.




– Debbie Kahn Cunningham