Featured on Oct 03, 2011
Lee C. Milstein
"We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. - Shak"
Trained as a lawyer, but a tech guy at heart, Lee now does business development deals for AOL. Lee’s responsibilities span strategic and commercial alliances for AOL, with a focus on the AOL.com homepage, distribution for the AOL Huffington Post Media Group properties and content, traffic & cross-promotional deals, AOL HD, and anything that could radically impact AOL.
Prior to joining AOL, Lee led Business and Corporate Development for DivX, Inc. in San Diego. Lee previously practiced law in New York for Kirkland & Ellis’s IP Transactional group and in Washington, DC for Steptoe & Johnson’s Regulatory Telecommunications team.
He studied Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence undergrad at the University of Rochester and a JD from NYU School of Law, where he served on the Law Review.
- Title: Business Development, AOL
- Age: 33
- Location: East Village
- Contact: about.me
Your about.me page states that you’re “on a quest to better media through the use of technology.” What are some of your favorite products or tools that you use to accomplish this?
So, my reference was actually intended to have multiple meanings.
Primarily, I was talking about the industry itself. The data technology companies can accumulate on both individual and aggregate levels is awesome in the true sense of the word; the companies that use that data properly are the ones that will succeed. Technology can be used for everything from generating personalized media experiences to helping companies make decisions on product and even content. All of these things are merely tools, however. It takes a creative visionary to make the best use of these tools. I like to work with companies that have both.
That said, I also meant what I think you're asking, which is about how I like to make media consumption better using technology. I've tried a LOT of products and tools to make that happen. None are quite there yet, but we're starting to see everyone moving in the right direction. My favorite products for making media better right now include my HTC Droid Incredible 2 on Verizon, which, paired with ReadItLater and a slew of discovery apps (like Twitter, LinkedIn, the WordPress app, etc.) allows me to consume a ton of news and text content. I'm also a big fan of Zite for iPad for the same reason. Beyond that, I rely heavily on Dropbox to keep my files at hand, Picasa to organize my photos, and, right now, Boxee for videos (the Vudu application for the high-end stuff, and the new queue functionality for the rest of the web). I'm excited for where the music services are all going as well as the promise of TV Everywhere, but we're not there yet.
What’s your favorite memory from college?
Beyond the day they replaced the ROLM phone system with broadband? I'd have to say my favorite memory is of week 1. I made most of my best friends in life on my first day of college. Staying close to those people for so many years has created a lot of great memories, but it all started on the first day. Classes hadn't started yet, and everyone was getting to know each other, so it felt like camp. Keeping with that feeling, my friends and I organized "Evening Activity." It started with a game of football between about a dozen of us, but word spread pretty quickly and grew from there until I think we had about 50 or more people playing kickball or frisbee or some other college "sport" by the end of the week. I'm not one to pine for days past, so I will say there were a lot of good memories after that, but it is hard to top the feeling of everything being so brand new.
Any thoughts on what went down at Techcrunch?
I don't think I'm at liberty to talk about that in any real way, but I will say 2 quick things:
First, I have been a reader/fan of TechCrunch since it first launched and I think Michael Arrington built a brand and platform that will thrive well into the future no matter what transpired.
Second, despite what was clearly a messy press cycle around what went down, it does make me proud to work for AOL to know that our dirty laundry is so interesting to the public that it gets such tremendous coverage. I'm not a believer that all press is good press, but I do think that we must be on to something if people care so deeply.