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I had an older brother who passed away recently, an older sister and a younger brother.
I enjoyed high school and college, and I think I learned a lot, but that was not really my focus. My focus was on trying to figure out what businesses to start.
I do think that a general liberal arts education is very important, particularly in an uncertain changing world.
I do think actually in this case the government does get credit for funding some of the basic research.
I continue to have a special pride and passion for AOL, and I strongly believe that AOL - once the leading Internet company in the world - can return to its past greatness.
From a relatively early age I got interested in business.
For better or worse, that is true with any new innovation, certainly any new technological innovation. There's many good things that come out of it, but also some bad things. All you can do is try to maximize the good stuff and minimize the bad stuff.
Five or ten years ago, when it was clear the Internet was becoming a mainstream phenomenon, it was equally clear that a lot of people were being left out and could be left behind.
But the idea that some day people would want to be able to interact and get stock quotes and talk with other people or all these different things, I just believed that was going to happen.
Because I do think - not just in building AOL - but just the world in which we live is a very confusing, rapidly changing world where technology has accelerated.
And what we did with this new company in 1985 is we did start focusing on PCs instead of video game machines, because we learned the hard lesson about bringing a product to market in a consumer world where it's very expensive to build a brand and get distribution and so forth.
And so the idea was, well maybe you can take an Atari video game machine, where people plug in a game cartridge, and plug in a modem, and tie that into a telephone, and essentially turn that game in the machine into an interactive terminal.
And I'd say one of the great lessons I've learned over the past couple of decades, from a management perspective, is that really when you come down to it, it really is all about people and all about leadership.
Believing In Someone
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