Andrew Keen is a British-American entrepreneur, broadcaster, and writer. He is one of the best-known and most controversial commentators on the digital revolution. He is the author of four acclaimed books: Cult of the Amateur (2007), Digital Vertigo (2012), The Internet Is Not The Answer (2015), and How To Fix The Future (2018).
Andrew Keen was born into a Jewish family in Hampstead, North London. He received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of London, studying under British historian and political scientist Hugh Seton-Watson.
Keen then continued his studies at the University of Sarajevo. In Yugoslavia, he was inspired by the writings of Josef Škvorecký, Danilo Kiš, Jaroslav Hašek, and Franz Kafka.
Andrew Keen subsequently moved to the United States. He earned a MA in political science from the University of California, where he studied under Ken Jowitt. Afterward, Keen taught modern history and politics at Tufts University, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In 1995 Keen founded Audiocafe.com in Silicon Valley, which received funding from Intel and SAP. The firm folded in April 2000, and after the demise of Audiocafe, Keen worked at various tech companies, including Pulse 3D, SLO Media, Santa Cruz Networks, Jazziz Digital, and Pure Depth.
In 2007, Andrew Keen debuted with the book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture. His first book was based on his essay written for The Weekly Standard. The Cult of the Amateur critiques the enthusiasm surrounding user-generated content, peer production, and the Web 2.0 phenomenon.
In the next book, Digital Vertigo, Keen argues that the hypervisibility promoted by social networks like Facebook and Twitter traps users into sacrificing vital parts of the human experience, like privacy and solitude. He compares the experience of participating in modern social networks with Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, ending that: "The future should be anything but social."
In his book The Internet Is Not the Answer, Keen explains the internet's impact on the economy, psychology, and society. He claims that the more the internet develops, the more detrimental it is to those who use it.
Keen also argues that the internet encourages intolerance and that "rather than fostering a cultural renaissance, it has created a selfie-centered culture of voyeurism and narcissism".
His most recent book, How to Fix the Future, deals with how societies must address the challenges caused by the Digital Revolution.
In 2015, Andrew was named one of the 100 Most Connected Men by GQ magazine.
Now, Andrew Keen produces and presents the popular online podcast Keen On. He also hosts the long-running show, How To Fix Democracy, and directed and wrote the eponymous 2020 movie.
Andrew Keen lives in San Francisco, is married to Cassandra Knight, Google’s VP of Litigation & Discovery, and has two children.
Photo credit: www.ajkeen.com