When you buy an album on iTunes, Apple does not force you to pur­chase the band’s entire discog­raphy. North­eastern alumnus Chet Kanojia, a dig­ital media tech­nol­o­gist, envi­sions a future in which the same pick and pay prin­ciple would be applied to cable TV at a one-​​stop Internet shop.

What if there were a loca­tion on the Internet where you could pick and choose what you want to watch and pay a rational price for it without any pack­aging restric­tions?” asked Kanojia. As the founder and CEO of Aereo, a ground­breaking online tele­vi­sion plat­form, his goal is simple yet ambi­tious: “I want to change how con­sumers access, pay for, and view TV.”

Kanojia dis­cussed his grand vision for the future of tele­vi­sion with more than 100 stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff who filled the Raytheon Amphithe­ater on Monday evening for the sixth install­ment in the Pro­files in Inno­va­tion Pres­i­den­tial Speakers Series. Sev­eral hun­dred people also watched the event live via Northeastern’s Face­book page.

North­eastern Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun, who led the dis­cus­sion with Kanojia, hosts the Pro­files in Inno­va­tion series, which is designed to bring the world’s most cre­ative minds to campus for con­ver­sa­tions on inno­va­tion and entrepreneurship.

Kanojia fits the mold. In the late 1990s, he founded Navic Net­works, which he built into the industry’s undis­puted leader in advanced tele­vi­sion adver­tising before selling it to Microsoft for about $250 mil­lion in 2008. In 2012, he founded Aereo, which uses dime-​​sizes antennas to stream live and recorded TV sig­nals from broad­cast net­works to cus­tomers’ tablets, smart­phones, and com­puters. The ser­vice, which Kanojia describes as “fas­ci­nating, bold, and crazy,” costs $8 a month and is cur­rently avail­able in seven cities, including Boston, New York, and Miami.

Kanojia’s small antennas are causing a big stir among a con­sor­tium of major broad­casters bent on quashing the com­pany in court. While Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC have argued that Aereo is vio­lating copy­right law by streaming pro­gram­ming without per­mis­sion, Kanojia coun­ters that “all con­sumers have a right to access broad­cast tele­vi­sion for free using an antenna.”

The majority of Monday’s hour­long event focused on Kanojia’s plan for trans­forming the TV industry, which he revealed in a short lec­ture fol­lowed by an in-​​depth Q-​​and-​​A. First he dis­cussed the his­tory of Aereo, which has mor­phed from an idea on the back of a napkin into a thriving com­pany with more than $60 mil­lion in invest­ment cap­ital. Then he fielded ques­tions from audi­ence mem­bers, social media users, and Pres­i­dent Aoun on topics ranging from his entre­pre­neurial drive and hiring phi­los­ophy to his lead­er­ship strategy and rela­tion­ship with Barry Diller, the media mogul who has invested more than $20 mil­lion Aereo.

Aoun asked Kanojia when he real­ized he wanted to become an entre­pre­neur. It was in 1993, the year Kanojia earned his master’s degree in com­puter sys­tems engi­neering from North­eastern, he said, when he was working in Saudi Arabia and reading a biog­raphy of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates called Hard Drive. The book “gave me the impetus to say that it’s pos­sible to create,” Kanojia explained. “I was driven by dis­tinc­tion.” His expe­ri­ence at North­eastern stoked a sim­ilar fire in him to suc­ceed in the busi­ness world: “I learned immense life lessons at this school,” he said. “In hind­sight, I real­ized how pow­erful they were.”

A Twitter user asked Kanojia to divulge the secret to good lead­er­ship, to which he responded: “The biggest thing you have to master is your own pathology and your own fear. You can’t be afraid of making deci­sions, and you have to be transparent.”

When a second-​​year stu­dent asked Kanojia to name Aereo’s biggest obsta­cles to trans­forming the TV industry, he turned the ques­tion on its head. “This is a com­pany of des­tiny,” Kanojia said. “We thought it would be hard to raise money, but people are lining up and saying ‘take our money.’ At the end of the day, we rec­og­nize that [web-​​based TV] is inevitable and maybe we are the ones to do it.”

Watch the full dis­cus­sion below: