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.
I was not an outstanding student. I did a reasonable amount of work. I got generally good - pretty good grades, but I was not that passionate about getting straight A's.
You have to get along with people, but you also have to recognize that the strength of a team is different people with different perspectives and different personalities.
It's stunning to me what kind of an impact even one person can have if they have the right passion, perspective and are able to align the interest of a great team.
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.
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.
Nowadays people seem to switch schools, either because they have to, and certain schools only serve certain grades, or because they move to a different place or have some particular interest, but I was in the same school for 13 years.
So you have to force yourself out of a comfort zone and really try to figure out what are the key ingredients, the key skill sets, the key perspectives that are necessary, and then figure out a way to attract the very best people to fill those particular roles.
Most of the people who had PCs did not have modems and could not use those PCs as communicating devices. They really were using them for spreadsheets or word processing or storing recipes or playing games or what have you.
If you're doing something new you've got to have a vision. You've got to have a perspective. You've got to have some north star you're aiming for, and you just believe somehow you'll get there, which kind of gets to the passion point.
I think the support of the other team at AOL and everybody's really shared passion and belief about this and - saying that some day everybody was going to be on line.
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.
My father and his brothers were all lawyers, so I think that the expectation was probably for me to grow up to be an attorney, but it never really fascinated me that much. I was more interested in building things.
One of the problems with computers, particularly for the older people, is they were befuddled by them, and the computers have gotten better. They have gotten easier to use. They have gotten less expensive. The software interfaces have made things a lot more accessible.
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.
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.
When I first got started in the late '70s, early '80s, and first was thinking about the interactive world, I believed so fervently that it was the next big thing, I thought it would happen quickly.
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.
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.