Infinite Learner: 7 Ways Barry Diller’s Media Empire can Inspire Your Own

Akash Malik
3 min readJun 29, 2021


Nobody knows anything about anything, including me. — Barry Diller

Masters of Scale, Barry Diller, Wait What Inc.

I only learned who Barry Diller was after getting coffee with a film executive in April 2018.

She recommended the Barry Diller and Reid Hoffman Masters of Scale episode.

Maureen Dowd of The New York Times wrote about Diller in March 2018, article entitled “All Men Are Guilty:”

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Barry Diller knows your weaknesses.

He knows how to intimidate you, if he wants to, or charm you, if he chooses. Because he is a taskmaster and a visionary and a billionaire, people in Hollywood and Silicon Valley pay close attention when he speaks.

Diller’s IAC owns internet properties such as Vimeo,, Investopedia, Match, and Tinder. As Reid said on the podcast:

It’s hard to use the Internet without encountering one of Diller’s properties.

Diller told Dowd he “would not want to run a movie studio now” because it would be like owning a horse-and-buggy company.

“The idea of a movie is losing its meaning,” says Diller.

Which hurt me at first because I spent four years studying filmmaking at Temple University.

Behind the Scenes photo uploaded by the author

But I also watch a lot of YouTube, so it makes sense. Kids grow up on YouTube today, and did not grow up on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel or Nickelodeon like I did.

Kids have HBO Max, Disney+, Netflix, Paramount+, or other streaming video on demand (SVOD) services.

“[Netflix is] like a giant vacuum cleaner that came and pushed all the other vacuum cleaners aside.” — Diller

As Diller says it’s “a completely different universe” to the one he came up in, through the mailroom of William Morris and three years studying the entertainment business in the agency’s file room.

(Don’t you think the file room today would just be a folder with pdfs on a drive? Yeah same.)

This is a photo of key phrases from Barry Diller’s episode on Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale podcast


  1. Revel in your ignorance, you are best when you know nothing.
  2. Learn everything you can about what interests you, and use what you learned to question EVERYTHING.
  3. Don’t copy someone else’s success. Break down what worked, then take a hard turn in a new direction.
  4. Stay curious and nimble to new ideas — have a beginner’s mindset.
  5. At your job ask two questions to yourself constantly: “what can I contribute?” and “what can I learn?”
  6. Listen to your elders, but also your juniors. The young can teach us as much as the old.
  7. There are no true masters of scale — only infinite learners.



Akash Malik

I write about media, technology and the human condition. Check out my website