Read the full interview.
Obviously there were a few raised eyebrows when MIT found out that I didn’t have a [bachelor's] degree. The Media Lab people felt like it was a badge of honor because they don’t like to conform. But after I met the administrators and they got that I don’t disrespect academia, it’s just that I have never fit into any of their patterns.
Reed Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, is a friend of mine. We talk a lot about careers. The whole idea that you figure out what you want to be, then plan your course and execute on it doesn’t work anymore. Now, you want to find the things that you’re good at, be able to pivot when you need to, and have the network you need to support that.
Why f2f is crucial in Ito's reinvention of the MIT Media Lab:
Brand is important, but we need to make ourselves less intimidating. And part of that is showing up everywhere. That’s what I did with Creative Commons. And I’d go to Syria and say, “Hey, anybody want to work with us?” Or to Ramallah, and say, “Hey, can we set up a Palestinian network here?” Then I’d go to Israel. Once you start going to places you see that face-to-face is really important.