Tech giants discussed the difficulty of being in the spotlight at the Business Insider Ignition Conference in NY this week. AOL founder Steve Case said, “One day you’re the smartest guy in the world, the next day you’re the dumbest. It goes with the territory.” According to Variety, Case fell from superstar status after AOL was bought by Time Warner and dial up became history. Case continued, “You can’t react to short-term pressure from the press and investors. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong.
Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, talked about rumors that he would be fired by the board of directors any day. He acknowledged that Groupon’s stock has dropped more than 80% since going public and it would be “weird if the board wasn’t considering (if I am) the right guy to do the job.” Mason was interviewed by someone who knows what he’s going through. Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget, had to leave Merrill Lynch after he called Amazon “a piece of junk” in a email.
Panelists also discussed possible repercussions of a “cable-never” generation– current college students who are never expected to invest in cable TV. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was the sole defender of traditional media. He said, “They pay $5 for a coffee. Cable is $2 a day and it’s the best programming anywhere in the world.”