Barry Diller Would Like To Influence You

IAC-owner and New Media Mogul Barry Diller went from the man who created the Fox network and greenlighted The Simpsons to the dude who owns Zwinky.com. He's still filthy rich and owns the biggest yacht ever and never needs to leave his gigantic office atop his Frank Gehry castle, but his former boss and current sorta-rival Rupert Murdoch just continues amassing power and influence and Presidents while Diller is creating and buying little funny (but sometimes hugely profitable!) websites. Does that bug him? According to a profile by the Observer's Doree Shafrir... maybe?

Diller recently spun off his conglomerate into five new companies, due mostly to a complicated and lengthy fight with a "reclusive billionaire" major investor. This also helped fight claims that IAC was "a random hodgepodge" of disparate companies, except that the groups that remain under the IAC umbrella are a random hodgepodge of internet companies, "united under the loose banner of 'helping consumers.'" Like, uh, Zwinky, which helps consumers make Zwinkys. And CollegeHumor, which helps consumers find IAC-owned websites where they can buy funny t-shirts.

And speaking of CollegeHumor! Connected Ventures, the booze-soaked internet frat party that generates lots of great traffic from coveted demographics, will not be moving into the IAC GehryDome. Because although CollegeHumor EIC Ricky Van Veen promises that Diller gets them, he is aware that they might be a distracting presence among the grown-ups.

"Barry okayed us not going into the new building because he understood it wouldn't mesh. There was a Heely craze at the time—literally half the office had Heelys," said Mr. Van Veen, referring to the sneakers with built-in wheels that seemingly every child in the world was wearing at one time. "Talking to Barry, I think he realized he didn't want Heelys scraping up those brand-new floors."

While Diller gets CollegeHumor and absolutely adores VeryShortList, his upmarket Daily Candy ToDo list ("for the NPR set"), Wall Street (and the rest of the world) are still kind of confused about IAC's actual business strategy, which seems to be to own a bunch of internet-related companies without much relation to each other and let them all do their own thing in the hopes of them eventually becoming culturally relevant. And then he'll make Rupert really sorry that he didn't make Barry a principal in News Corp.

It's Diller Time! [Observer]