Joi Ito

Director, MIT Media Lab

02/01/14
“Ask me anything you like about the MIT Media Lab, nonprofits, and being a VC and entrepreneur.”
Joi Ito is an entrepreneur, VC, and Director of the MIT Media Lab. A leading thinker and writer on innovation and global technology policy, Joi was named by Business Week as one of the "25 Most Influential People on the Web." He is the founder of Digital Garage, serves on the board of several corporations, and was early investor in more than 40 companies, including Flickr, Kickstarter, and Twitter. He likes diving and playing video games.

“The Middle East is a growing, very large market. You have a young demographic and you have lots and lots of opportunity to disrupt and catch emerging businesses.”
“Traditional venture capital tends not to like capital intensive things that require research...Requiring research means you need some breakthroughs and you really don't know how long it might take...It hasn't been 'de-risked'”
“One catches my interest is the field of bio-engineering, and particularly synthetic molecular biology...The idea that by re-doing and engineering the genes, you can create a biological device – sensors, factories, computer, memory.”
“I would liked to have known that the failures and the really really difficult times were the times where I was going to learn the most.”
“I somehow decided in undergraduate college, I wasn’t going to study math anymore ...now that I’m at MIT in the Media Lab I realize that math is a pretty important language.”