Barry Diller is famous in the business world for a number of things. He innovated early on in Paramount to bring about hit TV shows like Cheers and Taxi, plus films like Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Beverly Hills Cops (to name a few). He built the Fox station and brought about shows like The Simpsons and Married with Children. He was one of the first people to capitalize on the internet. Barry built a conglomerate that brought about companies like Expedia, Match.com and Vimeo.
Barry promotes the idea of ‘infinite learning’ and the ability to unlearn quickly. There’s more danger in believing you know the answers, building what you think might work, and being wrong, versus challenging all assumptions and figuring out how to learn quickly, even if it means you have to re-learn some things you might believe you already known. You need to ask yourself: which things do I need to unlearn or that I have to learn anew?
In some regards, we believe this is a new phenomenon with the internet, but Barry was doing this from the late 70s when TV, film, and media were still relatively new. The difference today is that there are more people innovating and experimenting than back then. And there’s easier access to all audiences.
The lesson? It’s the opportunity that matters most. Your job is to learn as fast as you can even if it means making mistakes along the way. Barry’s belief is that the most successful entrepreneurs and innovators have the ability of ‘infinite learning’. They are able to scale their ideas fast by grappling with all of the challenges in your business, market, customer, and team.
How do you accelerate the amount of learning that you and your team can get through? Are you challenging your assumptions regularly?