Kara Swisher

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Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt Joins Kno Board

Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt will join the board of Kno, the online education start-up.

He is currently the principal at REH Advisors.

The Silicon Valley-based Kno began its life offering a student-aimed tablet and education platform, but now is focusing solely on the software part of its business.

The company announced plans this summer to allow those who buy textbooks from Kno to read them on Facebook and via the Web. It also has an Apple iPad app that takes the product beyond just an electronic version of a traditional textbook.

Kno’s current backers include prominent venture players like Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital, along with investors Mike Maples and Ron Conway. Marc Andreessen, as well as co-founders Osman Rashid (also CEO) and Babur Habib (also CTO), are also on its board.

Here is the official press release about Hundt’s appointment as a Kno director:


Hundt Brings Unparalleled Experience in Education and Communications

Santa Clara, CA, November 1, 2011 — Today, Kno, Inc., www.kno.com, a pioneer in education software, announced that the company has named Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to its Board of Directors.

“I’m very excited to join Kno’s Board of Directors because the company shares my passion for education,” said Reed Hundt. “While I was at the FCC, one of my highest priorities was making sure our nation’s classrooms were connected to the Internet, precisely in order to foster a software revolution in learning. I believe that Kno’s student-focused software will bring education into the 21st century and help transform the way students learn now and in the future.”

Hundt brings decades of relevant experience to Kno’s Board and is a long-time advocate for technological innovation in education. He is currently the Principal at REH Advisors, an advisory firm that serves clients on a variety of issues. Prior to establishing REH Advisors, Hundt served as an Adviser to McKinsey and Company for more than 10 years, as well as a Member of the National Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, among other distinguished roles.

Hundt served as Chairman of the FCC from 1993-1997 and played a major role in implementing the Snowe-Rockefeller program that directs more than $4 billion annually to connect all classrooms to the Internet and is hailed as one of the largest single national commitments to K-12 education in American history.

“The work Reed accomplished while Chairman of the FCC makes him an exceptional addition to our Board and his expansive knowledge of the education technology space will serve Kno tremendously in its efforts to improve how students learn,” said Osman Rashid, co-Founder and CEO of Kno, Inc.

Babur Habib, co-Founder and CTO of Kno, Inc. continued, “Hundt brings decades of relevant experience to Kno’s Board and is a long-time advocate for technological innovation in education. We look forward to working closely with Reed to help guide us as we extend our reach to professors and administrators.”

Hundt has also taught seminars at the Yale Law School, Yale School of Management, Yale College, and Columbia Business and Law Schools, demonstrating his passion of education. He also serves on the Boards of Intel Corporation, Serious Energy and UNCF, an educational assistance organization.

Hundt holds a B.A. in History from Yale College and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He also is the author of “In China’s Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship and You Say You Want a Revolution: A Story of Information Age Politics.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work