The Former Owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Has a New Passion Project. Here's Why He's Fighting to Create a Safer Internet.

This week on How Success Happens, I spoke with Frank McCourt Jr., the executive chairman and founder of Project Liberty and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s had a successful career in building and infrastructure projects but, more recently, has turned his attention to a new infrastructure project — the internet. I was curious to find out more about McCourt’s plans to build a safer internet and about his book, Our Biggest Fight: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity in the Digital Age.

You can listen to our full conversation above, and below, I’ve pulled out three key takeaways.

Innovation is key to changing our current internet culture

The current architecture of the internet is destroying society,” McCourt says. “This is a fixable problem. We need an internet that protects our kids, makes our democracy stronger and one where we can build great businesses and share in the wealth so it doesn’t land in the laps of five big companies. We can innovate our way forward and fix this problem.

Timestamp — 10:30

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Know where your data is going

As we entered the app age, the technology that was originally designed to create opportunity and connectivity became a race to scrape our data,” McCourt says. “Big Tech companies are accumulating our data and mapping everything about us. And then they are controlling that data. Facebook won the race for social, Amazon for commerce and Google for search, but they are all doing the same thing — scraping our social graphs and turning that data into a profit.”

Timestamp — 26:25

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Today’s fight has remarkable similarities to historic struggles

“I was inspired to write Our Biggest Fight because today’s Big Tech companies are the richest, most powerful companies that have ever existed,” McCourt says. “In 1775, Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense and explained that colonists had a choice to either remain subjects of the British monarchy or become citizens of a new government. We are faced with a similar choice. We are letting Big Tech surveil us 24/7, scrape our data and know everything about us — simply so we can use the internet. Enough is enough. We can fix this together.”

Timestamp — 54:37

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