And so the question, articulated by Plutarch in Life of Theseus, was raised: was it still Theseus's ship? With every element removed and replaced, could it be considered the same entity?
Or, to put it another way: what makes an identity? Does it arise from tangible, composite parts, or is it derived from something else, something less effable, less categorizable?
In its eclecticism, IAC is the Ship of Theseus paradox multiplied and accelerated — a plank of wood is stripped from one ship to build another; a sail is supplanted by one substitute, then another. It is a corporation with a complex and fluid structure. But there is persistence, identity, in what Diller has built. It doesn't reside in the tangible elements that appear on the balance sheet but in a process.


At its most abstract level, Diller has built the Ship of Theseus, and in his way, solved Plutarch's paradox. We don't need to wonder whether the timber makes the boat, whether Expedia or Match or ANGI defines IAC. For Diller, identity is not tied up in composite parts but in the desire to invent, reinvent, and transform.

The Barry Diller Playbook