Dyson says CEOs should 'get educated'

May 10, 1999


The latest in a series of articles on interactive marketing leaders.

Name, rank and serial number: Esther Dyson, 47, Chairman, EDventure Holdings, author, pundit, networker and high-tech gadfly.

CV: BA Economics, Harvard College, 1972; reporter, Forbes magazine, 1974-77; computer and software industry securities analyst 1980-82; took over PC Forum from Compaq founder and venture capitalist Ben Rosen in 1983. Publisher of high-tech newsletter, Release 1.0, globe-trotting speaker, government counselor and corporate advisor.

What is the PC Forum?: A high-tech industry meeting, "with the flavor of an annual high school reunion."

Why weren't the CEOs at PC Forum?: "Probably they didn't know about it and wouldn't consider it relevant... but it is! On the other hand, it may have been more than they are ready for, although this is a one-size-fits-all generalization."

What should "old-economy" CEOs do about the new technology?: "The first piece of advice is just 'get educated.' Find a grandchild or hire a teen-ager. Send e-mail, sign up for some mailing lists, surf the Web sites of your competitors. Try sending e-mail to lower-level employees you don't know; ask their advice!"

Why the Net matters: "The Net gives awesome power to individuals-the ability to be heard across the world-the ability to find information about almost anything.

The primer on the Internet: Dyson wrote Release 2.0, A Design for Living in the Digital Age, published by Broadway Books in 1997, a must-read for Net marketing novices.

Honors and awards: Named one of the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine.

Why marketers should take note: Dyson is a trend-setter and a trend-identifier. She often knows where the technology marketplace is headed before anyone else.

Michael Krauss is a partner with Diamond Technology Partners in Chicago.
He can be reached at news@ama.org.







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