Patrick Byrne: What is the measure of a good life?
Patrick M. Byrne is the CEO of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. Byrne received his B.A. from Dartmouth, studied at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. He co-founded Overstock.com in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. In 2005, Byrne initiated a controversial campaign against "naked short selling" in which he accused a "Sith Lord" and various financial firms of sabotaging Overstock's share price. Byrne also serves as head of First Class Education, an education lobbying group that seeks to require that 65% of all educational spending be spent "in the classroom." A strong proponent of school vouchers, Byrne spent almost four million dollars in advertising for a bill that would have given Utah residents who enroll their children in private schools taxpayer-supported subsidies. The bill lost, 62-38%.
Patrick Byrne: I’m not . . . ’m not sure that there is a meaning. I really am not. But if there is a meaning, it’s gonna be found in . . . in the service you provided. Did you move the ox cart of civilization along a couple of feet? Or did you just rest in the back? Or did you just ride in the ox cart? You wanna be . . . you don’t wanna be riding in the . . . A lot of people riding in the ox cart and they wanna, you know . . . they wanna whip the people who are trying to pull it, and they wanna tell them all the things they’re doing wrong. And they wanna tell ‘em how much better they could pull if they were doing it. But they’re riding in the ox cart, and you definitely want to be one of the guys pulling it, or at least putting your shoulder to the wheel, if anything.
Recorded on: 10/29/07
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