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Lessons Learned: Tony Perkins on Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs

Lessons learned from entrepreneur by John Shinal
October 24, 2007 last edited July 10, 2008
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/81

For someone who's made a career out of challenging traditional media companies, Tony Perkins has an unlikely hero: "Uncle" Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., the global news and entertainment giant.

That's just one of the surprises in this video clip from Perkins, whose latest venture is the AlwaysOn media network, an online community-based news site covering tech, green tech and media companies.

Perkins, who co-founded Red Herring magazine in 1993, "when no magazine was covering the growth industries," says he and others become entrepreneurs "to make a difference and to change things." When he founded AlwaysOn a decade later, few people outside Silicon Valley had ever heard of blogging.

Other gems here include Perkins advice to entrepreneurs about the importance of picking the right people, because "picking a partner is a lot like getting married," and many startups fail because their founders come to dislike each other.

Of AlwaysOn, Perkins confessed that "if I had known how much work it would be, I may not have done it." "Overnight successes seem to take a hell of a long time."

Regarding Murdoch, Perkins says he bought MySpace "when everyone was saying it was silly." Today, the social networking site has more page views than any other online property in the U.S.

And Perkins has another hero -- fellow Silicon Valley native and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, whom he admires for his "perfectionist approach" to building products.

Perkins also tells Vator.tv's Bambi Francisco that "cash is king" and that one of his mistakes was hanging on to too much Red Herring stock as the dotcom boom went bust.

Full disclosure: Perkins has used Vator.tv and its video platform for several of the competitions that AlwaysOn has conducted to find promising private companies.