Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Ted Leonsis Speaks!

BoomTown recently had lunch in Silicon Valley with Ted Leonsis, one of the most colorful, interesting and early of the modern Web’s entrepreneurs.

Leonsis is best known as the man who put the oomph into AOL during its glory days in the last century, when he joined CEO Steve Case in 1993 to grow the company into a behemoth that was able to essentially take over media giant Time Warner (TWX) in 2000.

That pairing did not go so well, as time did end up telling, and most of AOL’s senior ranks were gone from the company quickly.

That is, except for Leonsis, who stayed around AOL until the end of 2006 when he left the company to focus on his sports investments (See an interview with him about his Washington Capitals hockey team in The Wall Street Journal over the weekend here).

Leonsis has also recently teamed up with Case again to take on PayPal and the credit card industry–that shouldn’t be that hard at all!–with RevolutionMoney.

He talks about that venture and more, including the end of portals, the rise of distributed networks, the need for a new online ad paradigm and how techies need to focus more on “happiness and the quality of life.”

Yeah, that.

Here’s the video, in which Leonsis did not talk about the Yahoo (YHOO) deal, as this video was shot before talks between Yahoo and AOL heated up:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus