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Introduction

David Hayden came to prominence in 1998 in Burn Rate, an entertaining if bitchy book by the journalist Michael Wolff of his attempts to take his internet company public. Wolff's bankers think it a good idea if he first merges with Hayden's company, Magellan, which he owns with the twin daughters of the late disgraced British media baron, Robert Maxwell. Wolff casts Hayden, husband to one of the Maxwell sisters, as a slightly feckless soul, forever at the mercy of the scurrilous family he has married into. That Hayden has survived not only such a character assassination, but also rebuilt his career around the next generation internet technology, is testimony to his powers of survival.

In fact, on meeting him, one is left in no doubt at all that here is a man it would be impossible to keep down. With his mop of mad scientist hair, and a mind that seems to compute a hundred different ideas a minute, Hayden is a restless bundle of energy. He gesticulates wildly, smiles readily and speaks with the conviction and passion of a self-made man thrice over.


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