I recently came across the Distraction Podcast hosted by Dr. Edward Hallowell, who happens to have dyslexia. He interviewed internet pioneer Alan Meckler who also happens to have dyslexia. Dr. Hallowell emphasized that Mecker was able to do amazing things in his career despite of and because of his dyslexia.
Alan Meckler was one of the very first to recognize the commerce and marketing potential of the internet, founding Mecklermedia which held the first and largest internet business trade show. Meckler also founded internet.com, which at one point had a trading value on NASDAQ of over $1 billion. He later purchased Mediabistro and many other online businesses as well as founding dozens more.
Meckler said he didn’t know he had dyslexia at first. “I found out about it in a round about way when a freelance writer was writing an article for the New York Times and it had to do with baseball.” said Meckler. This was about 15 years ago and through his contact with this writer it was discovered that he had dyslexia. Meckler describes it in full in the podcast.
Meckler was asked about his strengths, especially as it relates to his huge success. “I’ve been very good at being able to pick out important tidbits when people are talking or in lectures,” he said. “I could always zero in on a salient point. I’m very good at spotting strategic trends, that’s why I did well in business. I sort of could project out when I heard of something, whether it be good or bad, in the fields I was in. I think, if anything, that’s my greatest skill.”
“There was a book written called the Black Swan, written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. If I have any claim to fame, he cites that in the 20th century there were only just two or three Black Swan events. One of them was the internet.”
Meckler added, “I was clearly only one of the first two or three people in the world to recognize the commercial side to the internet.”
I recommend listening to the podcast in full….