We think there’s a very big business in delighting consumers. And at a broader level, we think the Internet needs to be reprogrammed. Web pages haven’t looked any different in 15 years! They look like they were created by people in Silicon Valley with engineering backgrounds who happen to be mostly male. If you dropped down to planet Earth for the first time today and saw how pervasive the Web was, you’d expect it to be the most beautiful and elegantly designed experience in the world. But it’s not. So we’re in the process of redoing all our properties—we’ll be relaunching a lot of them in the next two months.
This is the sort of thing we've heard since 1995 from entertainment and ad industry folks who haven't spent any time working on the Internet. Once they do spend time working on the Internet, fortunately, they realize that there's a good reason Web pages look the way they do. And they observe that Craigslist and Wikipedia, which basically have no design, are two of the most successful sites in the world. And they note that Google doesn't have much design, either, and it's worth more than the entire entertainment industry put together. And they gradually realize that they didn't know as much about the Internet as they thought they did. But Tim Armstrong has worked in the Internet industry for years. So what on earth is he talking about?
A couple different ways. One of the things that we’ve brought back to the company in the past few years is a sincere focus on creativity. Our properties and sites and the company itself will start to represent more of what you see in the runway world — the creativity and the perfection. It’s what we want at AOL: a well-designed and -styled version of the Internet. That’s why we’re working with some of the most creative people on the planet — from Chuck Close to the Jonas Brothers. We want them to help us redesign the Internet.