Earlier this year CNET Networks acquired Release 1.0 and PC Forum, a highly regarded newsletter and high-tech executives conference, from EDventure Holdings and its chairman and founder, Esther Dyson. I was glad to hear about that as I have admired Esther’s work for a long time. In case you aren’t familiar with her, Esther was an early voice on the impact of technology with Release 1.0 providing the “first good look at technology that matters.”
Today, Esther stands out as an active and insightful commentator, editor, writer, and investor. In addition to her own newsletter and the PC Forum, she writes a twice a month column for the New York Times.
Earlier, more known for her exploration of cutting edge technologies, what struck me from the first time I heard Esther speak was her acute understanding of business strategy. I would never ever introduce a client to Esther unless I believed that both its technology AND business model would hold up to her “take no fools kindly” scrutiny. To risk it was to risk get published as such, and I loved her for it.
Over the years her column, newsletter, books on the impact of the Net and now blog, are among the first I read. But what I admire even more is how one woman almost single handedly opened up Eastern European technology to the world at large, and now continues to sponsor innovation and entrepreneurs from Beirut to Kenya. In addition she donates time as a member or chair of innumerable non profit organizations, including serving as founding chair of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the agency charged with determining policy on Internet infrastructure issues.