Ethan Zuckerman

VP, R&D, Tripod, Inc.
160 Water Street
Williamstown, MA
blurry photo of me
A little bit about me:

- My title is "VP, R&D". My job is a bit more complex. I'm currently trying to manage the various efforts to make a better website, while continuing to advise Tripod on strategic issues and hang out with research folks across the Lycos network. I've held 8 different job titles at Tripod so far and I still have vestigal responsibilities from some of them.

- My favorite food varies from day to day. It's usually an ethnic food I haven't been able to find or prepare recently. Today it's fresh African mangoes (smaller, sweeter and jucier than the mangoes you can get in this country) which would taste particularly wonderful on a grey winter day.

- My favorite moment at Tripod was a while ago - April Fool's Day, 1995. We were frantically working to launch the first cut of the Tripod site, living in the Tripod office and not sleeping. Our chief editor at that time, Brian Hecht, came up with a brilliant April Fool's gag for Bo - he wrote a press release announcing a product from AOL and Microsoft that directly competed with the site we were building. He and I got the entire staff in on the gag, so that when Brian announced that the release had come in, we all reacted by screaming, crying and quitting on the spot in despair.

Bo's reaction was priceless - for a moment, his face crumbled, but seconds later he pulled himself together and started giving a pep talk to convince us that it was GOOD NEWS that AOL and Microsoft had decided to compete head to head with us, a ten person company, that it legitimated everything we were doing and was a clear sign that we were headed for success. We let him talk for a moment, before admitting it had been a gag. He breathed a sigh of relief, cut off the pep talk, and said, "Jeez, for a few seconds there, I thought we were dead!" Wouldn't you know, four years later, we ARE competing head to head with companies like Microsoft and AOL...!


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