Tom Freston: What do you do?

Question: What do you do?

Tom Freston: Well I’m in a new stage of my life, and I just spent 20 years in the media business – media entertainment business – at MTV Networks and Viacom. And I’ve been out of there about a year, and I’m doing a bunch of different things now. I set up my own company called Firefly 3, and I’m doing . . . It’s a very small company. It’s me and one other person at the time, but I’m doing everything from writing, to non-profit work, to investing in some small companies, to working on developments of a movie or two – some creative projects. I’m also on very boards – DreamWorks Animation, the American Museum of Natural History, Emerson College. The non-profit work that I do, I do with a group called One Data and Red funded by Gates Foundation. Work with Bono, it’s really about sort of advocacy and fundraising work for extreme poor, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. So it’s sort of a basket of things that for now are things that I’m very personally driven by and am enjoying a great deal.Well the struggle is always just keeping up. No matter what you do, and it’s true of a lot of people, your . . . your day seems to fill up. It’s really . . . A lot of the struggle is just about time management, I find. There’s an endless amount of people that you wanna talk to or wanna talk to you. And the more you’re networked, it kind of exponentially rises. So how do you best manage your time and still have some time leftover for sort of your non-personal . . . you non-professional life as it were.

Recorded On: 7/6/07

A new stage in life.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.