Interesting 10 year reflection on AOL/TWX by Gerry Levin and Steve Case. You can enjoy it yourself with the embedded video below from CNBC, but here’s some snippets of interesting quotes and comments:

— “Worst deal of the decade…apparently” (referring to recent NYT article)
— “It’s not a supermarket — it’s a mall” (describing what the Internet business became versus what they had anticipated as a valued walled garden)
— “We’re not a capitalist country anymore” (commenting on how government regulation has taken control of major companies)

  • Mea culpa with comments about needs for compassion and missionary zeal — seemingly at a loss from other people and not themselves — and evidently Levin’s fault that the company didn’t have it. Would that have made a difference? Very interesting rear-view mirror…
  • Compassion and love? Vision and execution. Losing that when they put the companies together. Blaming it today on the baggage, Wall Street, and not innovating for customers. Who was going to innovate and how were they rewarded for it? Not much on too much hype and not enough creating something new.
  • Citing positive examples of Time and Turner integrations — not the best of examples either and the level of friction and loss had been tremendous.
  • “Going to the mountaintop of expectations” and “falling from grace” — strangely self-grandiose, biblical, and not a rolling-up-the-sleeves humility
  • Comparing community of AOL to Twitter…”AOL was the Internet.” Sounded vaguly like “coulda been a contenda.”
  • “I would want to be on the forefront of the media somewhere and not holding the old media bag.”

You’d think that they were reading what I just spent the last week writing…which will show up as excerpts here soon. Happy 2010.

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