• Esther Dyson

    Entrepreneur and Business Leader

    Esther Dyson has devoted her life to discovering the inevitable and promoting the possible. As an investor/commentator, she focuses on emerging technologies and business models, emerging markets and emerging companies. In 1994, she was one of the first to explore the impact of the Net on intellectual property in her own (paid-subscription) newsletter Release 1.0 and in Wired. In 1997, she wrote a book on the impact of the Net on individuals’ lives, Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age.

    She donates time and money as a trustee to emerging organizations (the Santa Fe Institute, the Sunlight Foundation, StopBadware.org and the Eurasia Foundation). From 1998 to 2000, she was founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the international agency charged with setting policy for the Internet’s core infrastructure (technical standards and the Domain Name System) independent of government control. She also sits on the Russian government’s commission to establish a Russian Silicon Valley, to which she contributes both enthusiasm and skepticism.

    After graduating from Harvard in economics, Dyson began her serious education in 1974 as a fact-checker for Forbes and quickly rose to reporter. In 1977 she joined New Court Securities as “the research department”, following Federal Express and other start-ups. After a stint at Oppenheimer covering software companies, she moved to Rosen Research and in 1983 bought the company from her employer Ben Rosen, and renamed it EDventure Holdings.

    The daughter of an English physicist and a Swiss mathematician, Dyson started traveling in Eastern Europe in 1989 and eventually helped to fill the small but vital vacuum at the intersection of Eastern Europe, high-tech and venture capital…and space travel. From October 2008 to March 2009, she lived in Russia’s Star City training as a cosmonaut.

Related Video Conversations

  • Scheduled: July 12, 2018 5:30 PM EST

    What’s a Nice Tech Investor Doing in Muskegon, Michigan?

    What’s a nice tech investor like Esther Dyson doing in Muskegon, Michigan? Dyson was an early tech guru, impresario of the highly influential conference PC Forum and newsletter Release 1.0, friendly with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Yet now she’s regularly flying from her base in Manhattan into a handful of small communities in America’s heartland, trying to spread the same message of long-term thinking and learning through trial and error that pervades Silicon Valley. The problems she’s addressing have a lot to do with time. At July’s What’s Now: New York event, presented in partnership with Capgemini at their Applied Innovation Exchange, Dyson will lead a conversation about how we need to rethink private and public behavior by shifting from short-term to longer-term horizons.

    Participants: Esther Dyson