Get to Know Ross Levinsohn

The remarkable news today that, among other important board moves, Ross Levinsohn will take over as interim CEO at Yahoo may well mark the end of an era – should his tenure stick, perhaps we can stop talking about the web pioneer in past or conditional tenses. If you’d like to get to know him a bit better, here’s an interview I did with him at Web 2 last Fall.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

7 thoughts on “Get to Know Ross Levinsohn”

  1. Looking forward to interviewing Ross Wednesday at the Digital Media Summit this week in NY.  The segment was called “Introducing the New Yahoo”…..now looking prescient.

  2. The greatest hurdle confronting potential Facebook competitors is the user’s inertia which acts in combination with the benefits accruing because it’s “where everybody else is”.

    The fact that its potentially easy for another platform to offer the same things (share pictures, messages, form sub-groups, chat, etc.) is not alone sufficient to break that tie.

    The utility of the speech and commons related dedicated account is rooted in an appreciation of several fundamentals: 

    First that money’s very roots are as a tool for motivating the transfer of an idea + an action (a decision) from one to another.

    Combined with what I believe are the three “scaling dilemmas” faced by humanity…

    (a dilemma is distinct from a problem in that it can’t be solved but can only be managed)

    1. The altruism dilemma (see my blog but you already have some idea)

    2. The “Monsters from the Id” dilemma… basically that the ‘rational mind’ evolved to serve the ‘lizard brain’… and that there’s a certain peril that comes with success along those lines.

    3. “ICT and the Ultimatum Game” dilemma… in brief the changing balance that arises with increasing capabilities in information sharing, technical vulnerabilities of complex inter-dependent systems and a related demand for “fairness”.

    suggests to me that this may well be an essential utility. While I can’t “prove” that this is so… I believe these dilemmas are clear and very real… and I don’t see much of anything being done about any of them.

    If Diaspora, of any similar, wants to offer a worthwhile capability not otherwise available… I have an idea.

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