Joi Ito, a self-taught venture capitalist, former disc-jockey and godson of Timothy Leary, has been named the new head of MIT's prestigious Media Lab.
Currently, the Japan-born Ito, 44, is the CEO of Creative Commons. From his early days as a DJ in Chicago, Ito went on to be an early investor in a who's who of new media startups, including Twitter, Flickr and Technorati, and serve on the boards of various internet companies.
Missing from Ito's packed resume, however, is a college degree. The New York Times has more:
Mr. Ito first attended Tufts where he briefly studied computer science but wrote that he found it drudge work. Later he attended the University of Chicago where he studied physics, but once again found it stultifying. He later wrote of his experience: “I once asked a professor to explain the solution to a problem so I could understand it more intuitively. He said, ‘You can’t understand it intuitively. Just learn the formula so you’ll get the right answer.’ That was it for me.”
Business Insider praised MIT's choice of Ito to head the Media Lab:
This is obviously a great career move for Ito -- there are few more prestigious jobs in tech than the MIT Media Lab -- but it's also a brilliant move from MIT. It recognizes that you don't have to be an academic, or even a college graduate, to be a great innovator and leaders of other innovators.
The Media Lab, founded in 1985, has produced technologies leading to Google Street View and the "ink" that's used in the Amazon Kindle, among others.
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