Scott Kurnit

About.com Founder

Read Official Bio

What’s an Effective Perk to Attract Top Talent?

Talent is everything in a company, because that's where your execution comes from. It's also where the ideas come from for you to change the business from what you thought it should be. I think…

Running Time: 1:32

What Is Your Must-Ask Job Interview Question?

Uh, I have several job interview questions that I like. One is so simple that it's almost crazy, and that is, hey, in two minutes, can you tell me your life story? Two things. One…

Running Time: 1:48

What’s the Biggest Mistake When Raising Money?

The biggest mistake, I think, that people make when they raise money, is that they don't express their business concisely enough. I've seen this over and over again. Elevator speech is really hard, to get…

Running Time: 0:35

How Do You Make Meetings More Effective?

I'm not sure I'm one of the speed meeting guys. So I actually create agendas at the meeting. People know what we're going to talk about and what we want to accomplish, but actually I like…

Running Time: 0:58

How Do You Get Executives to Do What You Want?

My style is to convince other people that something's a good idea. I'm an idea guy, and as a CEO that can actually be quite dangerous, because I push the limits, I try to get…

Running Time: 1:02

What Do You Do When You Hit a Wall?

When you're devastated about something, and it's like you're almost paralyzed because you did something wrong or something didn't work, turn your virtual calendar forward three weeks, and write down in it what that was. When…

Running Time: 0:30

When Did Customer Feedback Make You Change Something?

Customer feedback makes me change everything. I believe that you have to have a vision for something. You can't use data to create a product—you have to take that out of your head—but once it's…

Running Time: 0:41

What Did You Stop Doing After Becoming a CEO?

When I became a CEO of my own company, versus working in a corporation, things changed. And that was, in a corporation, you have to hold onto your job, you have to compete with people—even…

Running Time: 0:18

Where Did You Get the Idea for Your Company?

I get ideas from companies by things that I love, things that I find interesting. Hopefully not done before. Sometimes they have been, and you compete with the three or four or 10 other guys…

Running Time: 0:16

How Do You Avoid Getting Too Close With Your Employees?

I'm not afraid of getting too intimate with my employees in terms of...First of all, I hate the word employee. Don't use it, ban it wherever I can, and refer to people as team members.…

Running Time: 1:05

What Do You Do When an Employee Makes a Serious Mistake?

We had one of our very good people in the early days of About, who frankly, ruined our media metrics scores, net ratings, media metric score, in a month. And it's like, you know, devastating…

Running Time: 0:54

"Programming director of the world’s first fully interactive cable system"

Scott Kurnit is an early stage investor, Chairman of Keep.com and on the Boards of Brightcove, the Stein Eriksen Lodge, and Wisdo.

Kurnit founded and served as chairman and CEO of About, Inc. as it grew to a public market value of $1.7 billion and was the fifth largest of all Web properties. About invented or popularized important Internet staples such as blogging, content SEO and contextual pay-per-click advertising. He sold About US to Primedia for $724 million. About was then owned by the New York Times Company and is now owned by IAC.

Kurnit has founded four companies, all of which continue operating today. He holds four patents, led the team that embedded the first Web browser into an online service, started the first Pay Per View cable network, and co-led the team that implemented the first use of national caller ID. He was also the youngest program director in the PBS system and served as program director for Qube, the world’s first fully interactive cable system. He was president of Showtime Event Television when it generated the largest one night gross in the entertainment business and aired the first rock concert (broadcast in 70 countries) from the former Soviet Union. He has been a filmmaker, TV director, station program manager, marketer, and CEO. He has worked at the highest levels of Warner, Viacom, News Corp., PBS, IBM, and MCI companies.