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On defying MySpace's early critics:
People kept telling us, You have to have a closed network. People will want to talk only to friends they already know. We just didn't believe it. We never wanted to limit people from talking to each other. That's why people like coming to MySpace.
Why we sold to News Corp.:
A few other companies, including Viacom, were interested in buying MySpace. But they wanted to drag the negotiations out over months. That was their mistake. News Corp. moved fast. We were worried about parental control, but Rupert told us, "We're not going to tell you how to run the site."
Life with News. Corp:
Before I could do whatever I wanted. Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it's not stopping us. One night this past April, I was on MySpace and spotted a link to something called kSolo (it lets you record karaoke online and e-mail songs to friends) on a user's profile page. I tried it out-I played Pantera's Cowboys from Hell. We sent word to Peter Chernin and Rupert Murdoch that they should buy kSolo. Rupert pulled the trigger. It's such a great fit for MySpace.
Our contracts expire in October 2007. I'd like to do this as long as it's fun, and that could be a long, long time.
We're thinking about a MySpace movie studio. I've had people send me scripts. And Fox has brought us different properties. We're also thinking about a satellite radio station and a magazine.
Moving MySpace into China:
I've visited China. It's so different. There are infrastructure, cultural and language issues. We're learning about censorship. How do our users fit into what's allowed? And we need to have a partner there. We haven't done that before. It's really convoluted.
I like it for a reason that might not seem so obvious. It really drives me to keep working hard. So many people tell me what a big impact MySpace has had on them.
On hanging with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Bono, Al Gore, and Nicole Kidman at a News Corp. powwow in Pebble Beach in late July:
It's pretty strange to think I'd end up in that situation. But these last three years, I don't count anything out.
Here for: Friends
Hometown: Los Angeles
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Hey, I'm on the cover of the new Fortune - the September 4 issue - with my buddy, Chris DeWolfe (see Chris' profile), who founded and runs MySpace with me. The story is about how we built the site and how we're adjusting to life with our new owner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
University of California - Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Student Status: Alumni
Major: Film-Critical Studies
University Of California-Berkeley
Major: English & Rhetoric
Clubs: DECAL: Literary Theory
I got an IBM computer when I was 11. I ran a community bulletin board and wrote some computer textbooks. I grew up in San Diego, influenced by my entrepreneurial father who had one crazy idea after another. I rebelled, I guess, by majoring in English and rhetoric at Berkeley, bouncing from band to band, and eventually going to film school at UCLA. I was planning to be a lifetime student when I met Chris.