Esther Dyson: The Thought Leader Interview
The world of media is in upheaval. Newspapers struggle with massive debt while posting their articles free on the Web. Ad revenues shrink as advertisements leap from broadcast and print media to Google and Craigslist. Formerly passive television viewers now post videos on YouTube, one-liners on Twitter, and autobiographies on Facebook. Computer software gravitates from individual hard drives to remote servers. Marketing, publishing, and other media-related industries stagger under the weight of the financial crisis — and nobody, whether content creator, advertiser, politician, or business leader, seems to have a clear sense of what will happen next.
In such a time, perhaps one should turn to the person with the longest-lasting contrarian perspective. These days, that person is Esther Dyson. Dyson made her reputation in the 1980s as an industry insider with an outsider’s perspective. She hosted PC Forum,an annual IT-industry gathering founded by industry analyst Ben Rosen. Rosen went on to become a legendary venture capitalist and chairman of Compaq and Lotus, and Dyson bought his old firm, becoming the editor and publisher ofRelease 1.0, the premier venture-oriented newsletter about the personal computer industry. (She sold the company, EDventure Holdings Inc., to CNET Networks in 2004.)
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