Esther Dyson does business as EDventure Holdings, the reclaimed name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004. In the last few years, she has turned her sights towards IT and health care. She dedicated two issues of her newsletter, Release 1.0, to the topic (Health and Identity: No Patient Left Behind? in January 2005 and Personal Health Information: Data Comes Alive! in September 2005). Also in September 2005, she ran the Personal Health Information workshop that laid out many of the challenges still perplexing the health-care community.
Currently, she is on the board of directors of 23andMe and is one of the initial ten subjects of George Church's Personal Genome Project. Her primary activity is investing in start-ups and guiding many of them as a board member. Her board seats include Boxbe, CVO Group (Hungary), Eventful.com, Evernote, IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Meetup, Midentity (UK), NewspaperDirect, and WPP Group and Yandex (Russia).
Some of her past direct IT investments include Flickr, Del.icio.us, BrightMail, Medstory and Orbitz. Dyson was the founding chairman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000, and was also chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the 90's. In 1997, she wrote Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, which appeared in paperback a year later as Release 2.1. In 1994, she wrote a seminal essay on intellectual property for Wired magazine.
Question: Should Facebook open up its user platform?
Esther Dyson: No, because I don’t think the central is much more complicated than they how their application, face book is done it bring a job of opening up to a third party applications the issue is in opening up it platforms, it has more to do with the individuals user graph at social graph if you like we just who their friends are and when you start doing that you run in to these privacy issues it is fine for me to decide you can find out all about me but is it you find from me to usually you see who are my friends are may be my friends don’t want to be known it is my friends and so I shouldn’t necessarily have to write to reveal who are my friends are, one value site for that will example is supposed I am gay and supposed I am sensitive of about that okay. In theory you should mean of be sensitive of about it because it is okay but some people are and they have to be in their work of what ever and so if I have friends on my favorite lesbian site, they might not want need to open up my social graph to all my friends on space book you could then oh well, that is interesting yesterday it is all these gay friends, so people get out it by there is association with me, I mean there are it is very complicated thing and I mean have my own reasons for not wanting certain people they are knows certain things like I may have and ex-boy friend that I don’t want to see certain things but I mean new boy friend because rather than hating I don’t want to make him jealous I still like marry it is just well I may not want my mother to see pictures of my step mother not because of privacy, but because of certain delicacy again I have my own reasons for one you can control this information, it is not called privacy but it is not something where I want even my friends to plaster my information all of that the place so it is a complicated thing what face book did so growing why was they said we are not so much a single community their way to hard to be a community we are a platform on with people can build communities but now we don’t want to be a public utility we want to be a proprietary ultimately money making utility negotiation those shelves is really tough and face book hasn’t done without a bunch of errors on the way but they are basic this is what Yahoo should have done and failed to do and face book is doing it. It there are pioneering in there they are learning by trial and error in every little errors being viciously watched.
Question: Where did Yahoo miss the boat?
Esther Dyson: Well, it is a millions small mistakes. I don’t know I mean the boats were all going by, face book jumped on it and I want to and then tried in a too much big about.
Recorded on: 03/21/2008