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How do you summarize a highly colorful life of an inventor, billionaire and philanthropist?

In this episode of The James Altucher Show, our guest is John McAfee. James and John talk about the high and low points of John’s life.

Just days after this interview, John announced he is running for President of the United States.

He is probably best known for McAfee antivirus software, which he created while working as a programmer for Lockheed Martin.

Even with extraordinary success, John never measured his self-worth with his net-worth. Rather, he saved more than $30 million since he began McAfee. After a time, he turned the reins of of his successful antivirus company to Bill Larson, former VP of IBM.

John has had a controversial career. He’s spent his life on the run, has admitted to using and selling illegal drugs and has been arrested for illegal possession of firearms in the U.S.

Despite this, he still remains ever-relevant decades later. He is still the most influential authority on information security in the world and a widely sought speaker on that topic. So it did not come as a surprise that just recently he’s come under fire for writing about the real culprit behind the Ashley Madison data brouhaha.

Episode highlights:

How he created the McAfee antivirus out of curiosity, never expecting it take off.

His unhappiness with the administrative aspect of running an enterprise and why he stopped running the company.

His life on the run, after experiencing threat and extortion from the government of Belize.

Reinventing his business and reorganizing his life after losing all his money when forced to leave Belize.

Talking about his natural antibiotics venture in Quorum sensing. His foray into biohacking is touted to be 15 years advanced in terms of research.

Problems confronting the Internet landscape nowadays, the loss of privacy and what he does to stop it.

Being rich and famous never bothered John McAfee, he stays true to himself and does what he knows best: being unreasonable even if the world doesn’t agree with his opinions.

And there was the matter of losing all of his money and investments, hiding like a fugitive and finally getting extradited to the U.S. Also not a problem; John just continued to find ways to start another internet-security firm called Future Tense Central, the technology of which is leaning toward consumer mobile-device apps, company privacy, and security-sharing software.

His purpose nowadays is more focused on preventing the loss of privacy and warning against the evil of using gadgets, downloading convenience apps and storing information on the cloud because there are ways to ‘spy’ and fish for personal information.

Links and References Mentioned in this show:

Ashley Madison write-up

Future Tense Central: his security firm after Belize

D-Vasive: a mobile-privacy app he devised for anti-spying

Spy TV Series

Thanks so much for listening!

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