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Jay Adelson

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Subject: Dan Huard, Revision3, Equinix, Adelson, Kevin Rose, Digg
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Jay Adelson

Jay Adelson
Born (1970-09-07) September 7, 1970 (age 43)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality  United States
Occupation Internet entrepreneur
Spouse(s) Brenda Shea (m. 1996)

Jay Adelson (born Jay Steven Adelson, September 7, 1970) is an American Internet entrepreneur.[1] His Internet career includes Netcom, DEC's Palo Alto Internet Exchange, co-founder of Equinix, Revision3 and Digg, and CEO of SimpleGeo, Inc before they were purchased by Urban Airship.[2][3] In 2008, Adelson was named a member of Time Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in the World[4] and was listed as a finalist on the same list in 2009.[5]

Early life

Adelson was born in Detroit, Michigan and lived in Southfield, Michigan as a child.[6] He attended Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan until 1988.[7] He graduated from Boston University, where he studied Film and Broadcasting along with a concentration in Computer Science, in 1992.[8]

Later life

In 1992, Adelson moved to San Rafael, California to pursue a career in post-production sound engineering. After a period of time and world travel, Adelson moved to San Francisco, California in 1993, pursuing instead a career in Internet infrastructure and entrepreneurism. Adelson met Brenda Shea in May 1994 and they married in June 1996.[6][9]

After his experiences at Equinix and stresses associated with his work with government on cybersecurity following 9/11, Adelson moved to Pawling, New York in June 2004.[9] Adelson commuted from New York to San Francisco to found and operate Revision3 and Digg, eventually moving back to Mill Valley, California in the summer of 2009.[1][10] Elements of these experiences are documented in Sarah Lacy's book, Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, where a chapter on Adelson, titled "Fuck the Sweatervests."[11]

On July 15, 2003, he testified before the United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, as part of an industry panel on "The Private Sector's Role in Keeping America's Cyberspace Secure."[12]



In 1993, Adelson joined Netcom, one of the first global ISPs, as an Installation Coordinator, and shortly moved-up to Director of Network Operations. At the time of his departure in 1996, Adelson was responsible for network engineering, operations and customer service.[9][13] While at Netcom, In February 1995, Adelson was present and managing network operations during the pursuit and capture of former computer hacker Kevin Mitnick by Tsutomu Shimomura.[14]


In late 1996, Adelson worked for Digital Equipment Corporation's Network System Laboratory, specifically Albert M. Avery IV, to build and operate the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX). It was later renamed the Peering and Internet Exchange after the acquisition by Switch and Data Corporation. Adelson worked alongside Stephen Stuart and Paul Vixie to build a datacenter and services suited for scaling the core of Internet traffic. Adelson's efforts led to the facilities success as an Internet Exchange Point. The datacenter and exchange point remain in operation today in Palo Alto, California.[9][15] PAIX was later acquired by Equinix in Equnix's October, 2009 acquisition of Switch and Data.[16][17]


In June 1998, Adelson and Avery left Digital Equipment Corp and founded Equinix, Inc. (briefly Quark Communications).[18] Adelson served as Founder and Chief Technology Officer, responsible for the invention, design and construction of Equinix's datacenters and Internet Exchange Points (known by Equinix as Internet Business Exchanges).[19] Adelson led research and development and was responsible for several patents.[20][21][22] Adelson also assisted in the raising of capital including private equity rounds, a high-yield new entrant bond deal, and an Initial Public Offering in August 2000.[23]


Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose, along with co-founding team that included Ron Gorodetsky, Dan Huard, Keith Harrison and David Prager, founded Revision3 in April 2005.[24] In addition to co-founding and acting as CEO of Digg, Adelson remained CEO and Chairman of the Board of Revision3 for two and a half years, raising two rounds of capital.[25][26] Jim Louderback was hired as CEO in June 2007. Adelson remains Chairman of the Board of Revision3 presently and hosted his own show called Ask Jay which demystifies the start-up process by providing advice, tips, and answering questions.[27] May 2012, Revision3 was bought by Discovery Communications.[28][29]


Adelson and Kevin Rose met while Rose was producing an episode of The Screen Savers in 2003 and interviewed Adelson then at Equinix. On December 5, 2004 Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetsky and Jay Adelson start Digg with a $6,000 investment from then 27-year-old Rose.[30] Adelson continued to provide business mentorship throughout the company's first few months of operation, taking the position of CEO in February, 2005.[30][31] Adelson raised the first venture capital round which closed in September, 2005.[32] Adelson recruited the initial management team, set up the offices in San Francisco, and commuted from New York as CEO. Adelson raised two more rounds of capital, leading the company through its peak of over forty million unique visitors a month.[31][33] Adelson left Digg in April, 2010 over disagreements with Rose and the board over the company's direction and leadership.[34][35][36]


In November 2010, Adelson assumed the role of CEO of SimpleGeo, Inc. when co-founder Matt Galligan stepped down.[37] SimpleGeo was a location-aware services company for developers of mobile applications. Adelson had been advising the business, largely stemming from a relationship with the company's founder, Joseph Carl Stump, who served as Lead Architect at Digg, Inc. previously.[13] In October 2011 SimpleGeo was purchased by Urban Airship and Jay resumed his advising role.[3]

Boards and advisorships

Adelson sits on the board of 3Crowd Technologies, Inc., Revision3 Corporation, and SimpleGeo, Inc. He also advises companies, including NewsBasis,, Fflick (sold to Google/YouTube in 2011), RoqBot, Plex, and[38][39][40][41]

Interviews and keynotes

  • Mill Valley Middle School, November 2012.
  • Toasted Donut, September 2012
  • Boston University, May 2012
  • FastCompany, July 2011
  • NBC Press Here, March 2011
  • This Week in Tech, October 2010
  • FailCon, October 2010 Part 2
  • BammTV, October 2010
  • Cranbrook School, October 2010
  • CNBC Meeting of the Minds, June 2010
  • FutureMidwest, April 2010
  • Web 2.0, November 2009
  • NBC Bay Area, May 2009
  • Web 2.0, September 2008
  • Forbes, November 2006
  • Venture Voice, August 2006
  • Screen Savers, Fall 2003
  • TechTV, September 26, 2001


External links

  • Ask Jay
  • @jayadelson on Twitter

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