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Good Bye Web 1.0 – AOL Now Hemmorging Just Like Yahoo – Hello Web 2.0 January 28, 2009

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When I read the reports from Boomtown’s Kara Swisher, I had a personal sinking feeling.  Now, Boomtown’s the latest memo from the CEO of AOL allowed me to just put my finger on why I’m sad by this. It’s the final ‘nail in the coffin’ of Web 1.0.

Yahoo and AOL’s storied successes are crashing down around all of us in front of our eyes.  I’m deeply saddened.  I know many of these people in both companies.  What’s worse is the addition of thousands of newly laid off employees – the rank and file.  More importantly is that the hemmorging of these companies will  make their best employees (the stars) leave.  They most likely will become entrepreneurs to fuel the real opportunity – Web and Infrastructure 2.0.

I’ve been writing the impact on venture capital and now we’ll see more people looking for jobs.  We need the best talent to start companies to house these employees. Or better yet Yahoo and AOL need to cannibalize their own businesses in order to invent their new businesses.  Either way 2.0 is here.

Good Bye Web 1.0 and Hello 2.0.

Web 2.0 Revenue Models ?? Drama 2.0 Weights In January 12, 2009

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Web critic blog – Drama 2.0 has a post about the realities of Web 2.0. Not  to toot my own horm but if you’re interested in Web 2.0 business models just read my posts from the past 2 years – the monetization answers are there.

Here’s the conclusion that Drama 2.0 came up with – pretty right on.

As we head into 2009 facing one of the toughest economic environments in decades knowing that the fun and games are over, it’s time to face the reality: the Web 2.0 we have today is not the Web 2.0 we envisioned a few short years ago.

The most popular Web 2.0 creations have not been cheap to grow and operate. They’re still struggling to find revenue models that will serve as the foundations of self-sustaining businesses and even those startups that generate significant revenue in absolute terms (namely Facebook) cannot justify the valuations they’ve been given. And profitability is still largely a pipe dream.

While it’s possible that Web 2.0 stars like Facebook, Digg and Twitter will turn things around, it’s quite clear that these companies are not like many of their hot Web 1.0 counterparts, which, despite having to battle challenges of their own, were able to develop viable revenue models and turn a profit relatively early on.

Given all this, for Web 2.0 proponents who continue to make the same asinine argument, “Don’t treat Web 2.0 like Web 1.0!”, it’s 2009 and I concede defeat. Web 2.0 is not like Web 1.0. It’s in a special (ed) class of its own.

Web 2.0 Art By Sean Tiner – Pretty Cool Stuff January 7, 2009

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Sean Tiner recently created this portrait of me.

furrier20art

It’s part of Faces, an ongoing social media art series that he started at the beginning of 2008. To launch the art series, Tiner first created 50 portraits of friends from Facebook and posted the artwork on the social networking site. He theorized that by posting the portraits and tagging his Facebook friends in the portraits, it would help to create awareness and interest in his artwork. Following the first 50 portraits, Tiner started created portraits of people that he found interesting, including Seth Godin, Darren Rose, and Chris Brogan.

I’m honored that Tiner has included me in his portrait series and look forward to seeing more of the series as it unfolds. To view more of his series check out his blog or view his eBook (I’m on page #57).

New York Times – A Failed Ad Strategy January 5, 2009

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New York Times is now selling ads on their front page. I have to say that I didn’t even notice.  This is the reason why it’s a failed strategy.  Trend is away from print to online and that is where the NYTimes should be focused.  Not only are web users not clicking on display ads, a new crop of software led by Adblocker Plus is blocking all the ads.  Adblocker Plus used on about 10% of all web users is quietly gaining ground as a tool for end users.  I wonder if the New York Times will see the impact of the fact that display ads are being blocked.

From Adage.

The New York Times unveiled a display ad on its front page, despite decades of fear that advertising there could contaminate the journalistic product or brand.

New York Times front page ad

Enlarge
Today’s ad, which promotes CBS, occupies a strip of real estate two and a half inches high at the very bottom of page A1.

Today’s ad, which promotes CBS, occupies a strip of real estate two and a half inches high at the very bottom of page A1. That makes the unit less noticeable than the boxes available on the front of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, but it’s still a big departure for the Times.

In a statement this morning, the Times pitched the turnabout as win for marketers. “In 2006 we began testing ads on some section fronts and received a very positive response from the advertising community,” said Denise Warren, senior VP-chief advertising officer for the New York Times Media Group.

Taking its situation seriously
But it’s also a clear reflection that the Times is taking its situation seriously, something that was questioned after a recent presentation to investors and analysts. The New York Times Co. finally cut its costly dividend payments last November but drew fire for failing to suspend them altogether. “It just seems the reality is it’s a very, very difficult business right now, newspapers,” a questioner told executives. “And the notion that cash is flowing out of the company to the equity seems — it seems like you may not understand the gravity of the situation.”

In a funny way, the awful business environment may have actually freed the business side to sell the ads without worrying about an outcry from the newsroom.

“While three years ago the notion of the august New York Times serving up front-page ads would have stirred emotions far and wide, today it’s a one-day story,” said Ken Doctor, a newspaper vet turned media analyst for Outsell, a research and advisory firm. “When someone doesn’t have enough to eat, he doesn’t quibble about the source of the food.”

Made their peace
Many other papers have already made their peace with front-page advertising. The Journal began selling front-page units in 2006, carefully milking their potential to get big commitments from the five marketers allowed to buy them each year.

“Every single purchase has with it an annual commitment, an online commitment,” said Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer at Journal parent Dow Jones. “Some are multiyear, and some are global as well.”

With such prominent ad units, of course, it’s easy to wonder how the big articles next to them hurt or enhance their effectiveness. General Motors and Hewlett-Packard ads have bumped up against negative coverage of their own companies.

The front of the Journal’s Marketplace section today, on the other hand, shows an Oracle ad next to an article pegged to the Consumer Electronics Show. That’s an adjacency Oracle might have liked to arrange — which in turn is a possible suspicion that bothers opponents of these ads. Mr. Rooney said the paper never talks about news articles with advertisers. “It’s just not a conversation we would ever have,” he said. “Whether it’s the B section, the A section or anywhere in the paper, we sell our audience.”

Off the table
Last June The Washington Post’s new publisher, Katharine Weymouth, told Ad Age that front-page ads remained off the table. “I’ve had advertisers beg me to put ads on the front page, and we’re not ready to do that,” she said. The same goes for ads on Post-it notes affixed to the paper. “We declined to do that because we thought it cheapened the front page.”

Since then, of course, the economy has worsened dramatically. The Washington Post Co. saw print-ad revenue at its newspapers fall 14% in the third quarter.

This morning Ms. Weymouth confirmed, however, that the Post still doesn’t sell front-page ads. “No,” she e-mailed Ad Age. “The Washington Post does not currently accept front-page ads in our print edition.”

Secrets of the Web 2.0 World – What Secrets? 2009 Prediction – Groups Become Productive December 15, 2008

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Wall Street Journal posts a story about the secrets of the web 2.0 world. The issue is “What Secrets?”.

Web 2.0 is a phenom that is disrupting all industries. The Social Web or whatever you call it has arrived. The idea that it’s just a marketing platform is only one thread of the benefits of Web 2.0. Sure having engaged users is great, but what about the impact on invention, learning, collaboration, user experience, new venture creation,.. etc. The Web 2.0 phenom will create massive change.

What Secrets?

Web 2.0 isn’t some unknown thing. Many think there are secrets but it’s pretty simple the web connects people and people work together. The core issue is that no one has figured out what it is and how to harness it. That is the public little secret. Many of my friends are building companies to enable this new discovery. The innovation will come from leveraging the web 2.0 platform to create new forms of apps (some may just be show up on the IPhone app store).

My prediction in 2009 is that you’ll see group productivity increase dramatically. As ‘trust’ becomes more central this year so will the relationship that bloom from it. That is where the productivity angle will kick in. Call social networks a ‘recession product’ or a new work tool – it will matter starting in 2009.

Web 2.0 is upon us in full force and the impact from work to play will be disruptive EXCEPT now will see it become known. The people who can harness it will win – from marketers to users to institutions.

Web 2.0 Summit – Just Doing Business – What Bubble November 11, 2008

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I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about the recent Web 2.0 Summit.  I thought that it would be a bust.  In fact first impressions were that it was trending that way.  However after Jerry Yang’s conversation with John Batelle the Web2.0 Summit pickup up the pace.

I had a chance to speak with many of my friends in the space, and it was clear that doing business and building ventures was on the mind of many.  Unlike recent years where the Web 2.0 Summit felt a bit bubbly, this year was different.  Many were talking about ideas and sending signals of open collaboration – many among serial entrepreneurs.  For companies in the Web 2.0 space the conversation was on doing business.

It was an environment of executives doing deals.  What a concept.  The reality of the market is now on doing business.  The event was successful and for the first time I felt a strong sense of business focus.  Industry participants actually looking to build an industry.

This begs the question:  was there ever a bubble?  Sure some companies are flashy and ajaxy but in reality we never had a bubble or bubble burst.  The financial reality or depression didn’t originate from Silicon Valley or Web 2.0.  The crisis vectored in from mainstream financial systems.

Future of Web 2.0 – Just Do Business.  That’s on the mind of entrepreneurs, VCs, and large corporations.  How refeshing.

Blogging 2.0 – Blogging, Podcasting Growing UP -Yes They Are Mainstream November 7, 2008

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The economist has a great story about blogging and how it has gone mainstream. I would add podcasting to that list as well.  I was there when blogging started and podcasting and yes it is true both are mainstream leaving many of the pioneers like me and Jason trying to figure out the roles in the new order.  The fact is most pioneers can’t compete with mainstream professionals. The economist talks about Jason Calacannis as the example of blogging pioneer.  Jason is a great blogger and has shown the way for many.

Jason is a pioneer in blogging, but the real reason (my opinion) that Jason stopped blogging was because he had a company to build and run – Mahalo which is in big trouble.  Email makes sense for Jason because it is more controlled, and it keeps his social graph and influence in place verses the treadmill we call full time blogging.

When I started PodTech in the early days of 2005 had a huge audience and my show was very popular – millions of people were exposed to my podcast (thanks to blogging and itunes).  I gave that up to try to run the company that was venture backed.  Now I’m considering doing it again.  See poll on the side bar.

Back to Pioneering or Blogging and Podcasting 2.0

I see blogging changing so called Blogging 2.0.  It will more about real time collaboration.  More about experts not generalists.   In fact other blogger agree at web 2.0 summit I spoke with Toni Schnieder CEO of WordPress and he agrees.  They are seeing massive uptake on expert or specialism blogs.  Also this reaches deep into the web.  Toni mentioned that wordpress has over 200 million unique users – that’s massive.

I have launched a new blog in June called Broadband Developments www.BroadDev.com which is a prototype for a collaborative blogging hub.  So far the results are working.  We’ll see if that can be a model for Blogging 2.0 – experts working together.

Is Yahoo Being Served Silicon Valley Divorce Papers ? It Needs Big Game Changing Product November 6, 2008

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I’ve been thinking about the Jerry Yang conversation yesterday with John Batelle and it hit me – Yahoo has for years being the outsider in Silicon Valley. The recent blog and press coverage of Jerry’s comments yesterday make it clear that the core culture in Silicon Valley is frustrated with Yahoo and by default Jerry Yang.

Two posts stand out in my mind that got me thinking about this. Mike Arrington’s post and Om Malik’s post (other coverage is basically saying the same thing) speak to the core feelings about Yahoo.  I know both Mike and Om love Yahoo for it’s storied history, but like they and others (me included) are frustrated by the bungled execution.

What’s really going on here?  Yahoo losted a ton of great people in the years that it milked it’s dominant portal status.  That is compounded by a misdirection in strategy one that during the Semel years (the media focus) saw Yahoo lose many of their top product and engineering mavericks.  Innovation is the culture of Silicon Valley and Yahoo lost that years ago.  The recent pile on going down is just built up frustration by Silicon Valley on Yahoo and Jerry Yang is taking all the heat.

I’m pulling for Jerry Yang because I respect the ‘guts’ that it takes for the founder to come back.  It’s very noble of Jerry, but trying to transform his company into a platform player will take years.  It will take new leadership underneath Jerry.  Fact is they just don’t have the ‘chops’ on the product and engineering side.  Silicon Valley wants nothing to do with a ‘false’ prophet.  Jerry needs to move faster or the ‘mob’ will take them down (as Mike Arrington suggests).

Turning the Yahoo battleship will take time.  All Yahoo needs is one game changing new product.  This reminds me of the old minicomputer days.  Yahoo is the Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) of Web 2.0.  They’ve been on this portal and media thing why to long (similar to DEC on the minicomputer) – it might be too late. Some minicomputer companies like HP got new relevant products (hello LaserJet) that fueled a reinvention.

If Yahoo doesn’t get the new product and engineering mojo back Silicon Valley and others will completely turn on Yahoo.

It’s doable for Yahoo due to their ‘huge’ installed base of users, but the window is closing. They need a new product that is relevant – a new flagship.

Run Jerry Run!  Get it done.

I would love to see the founder take back his company and make the turn around.  The question is “do they have the people to do it”?  Silicon Valley doesn’t thinks so.

I’m not convinced yet of Yahoo’s demise and will wait to judge Yahoo.  I think that they can. I vote for the founder to stay – Jerry should stay, but he needs a new management team that will follow the founder in his vision.  I blame Semel not Jerry.

What do you think that they need to do?

Mzinga Has New CMO October 28, 2008

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Mzinga ( http://www.mzinga.com/pr/), the leader in enterprise social media and learning solutions for the workplace, marketplace, and extended enterprise, today announced that Patrick Moran has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

In his new role, Moran is responsible for leading Mzinga’s overall marketing strategy, and will oversee corporate communications, brand development, demand generation, and social media marketing to support corporate growth and new customer acquisition.
Moran brings more than 15 years of marketing and entrepreneurial experience to Mzinga, having founded and held key roles at some of the most innovative and successful technology companies. Moran joins Mzinga from Cisco, where he served as Senior Director of Marketing for the Collaboration Software Group and was responsible for worldwide customer, Web, product, brand, and partner marketing.
“I have known Patrick for many years and he is one of the most skilled marketing professionals that I have ever worked with,” said Rick Faulk, CEO, Mzinga. “He brings a strong track record of implementing creative strategies that deliver results, and understands the value of enterprise social media in that process. His leadership will be an asset in extending Mzinga’s market presence and momentum.”
Prior to Cisco, Moran was senior director of marketing at WebEx and Intranets.com, a leading SaaS (software as a service) provider. In those positions, he was instrumental in elevating brand awareness, improving customer retention and loyalty, and managing global marketing teams. Moran also founded Essential.com, an energy and telecommunications marketplace for consumers and businesses, where he raised over $100 million in venture capital and grew the customer base to more than 250,000.
“Mzinga is a market leader in enterprise social media and learning, and has significant growth opportunities on the horizon,” said Patrick Moran, CMO at Mzinga. “I look forward to helping the company take advantage of those opportunities by extending our market reach and increasing awareness of our solutions around the globe.”

Here is Josh from Forrester with Mzinga – This video is a good overview of Mzinga’s value proposition

Entrepreneurs Are Blind To Recessions – It’s All Signal – Series A Deals Are Happening October 17, 2008

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Paul has another great post. I swear he must have the same five posts that continue to get recycled. He is always pounding that drum. He’s correct in his view. This is my third down cycle as an entrepreneur. It’s not fun but the reality is that the advantage goes to the entrepreneur. I’ve spoken to 3 other serial entrepreneurs this week and all fully agree that they are licking their chops to do a startup now. Not so 8 months ago.

I fully agree that it is the best time to start a company both for entrepreneur and the venture capitalist. In fact the angels are out there. I ran into one yesterday (granted I live in Palo Alto and you can swing a dead cat without hitting an angel or VC). There is big interest in seed, super seed, and full blown Series A deals.

In these downturn times the opportunities just fall out of the trees. In a downturn the noise level is reduced and it’s all signal. Thanks to the memo from Sequoia which was a strong signal from the Silicon Valley elite money machine on which behavior will be tolerated (translation they want less Seesmics and more real companies). The other them is that innovation is coming out strong. The real opportunities are presenting themselves. The real web 2.0 will emerge from this downturn.

If you look you will see the opportunities ..clarity is the best policy for startups.

The benefit of a downturn – there is no tolerance for “Noise” –

Web 2.0 Conference Speaker List – Will It Be A Huge Again? August 22, 2008

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Just got my invitation to the Web 2.0 conference.  Below I cut and pasted the speaker list.  I hope that this year they don’t over book.  I love the Palace for conferences becasue the hallways are great (aka LobbyCon), but it sucks if they overbook.

Web 2.0 has always been a great conference.  With all the speculation that a bubble is bursting we’ll see what it looks like this year.

Speaker List for Web 2.0 in SF in November.

Chris Albinson (Panorama Capital)
Mr. Albinson is a co-founder and Managing Director of Panorama where he focuses primarily on internet technology investments. Mr. Albinson was also a General Partner at JP Morgan Partners running the technology venture capital practice. Prior to JP Morgan Partners, Mr. Albinson helped grow four start ups most recently as Chief Strategy Officer for Digital Island, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISLD; acquired by Cable & Wireless, Inc. in 2001). Previously, Mr. Albinson held corporate development roles at Newbridge Networks, Inc. where he was involved in a $217 million corporate venture fund, which invested in 27 companies, including Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:JNPR), Cambrian Systems Corporation (acquired by Nortel Corporation), Abatis Systems Corporation (acquired by Redback Networks Inc.), Fastlane Technologies Inc. (acquired by Quest Software, Inc.), BNI Systems (acquired by Nortel Corporation), and PixStream Incorporated (acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.). Mr. Albinson has been a speaker, panelist, and judge at Web 2.0 Summit, Next Generation Networks, Red Herring Top 100, Canada’s Top 10 Technology Start Ups, and the Gilder’s Telecosm conference.

Marc Andreessen Marc Andreessen (Ning)
Marc Andreessen is one of the most successful entrepreneurs (called a Silicon Valley “whiz kid” ), startup coach, blogger, investor, and a multi-millionaire software engineer best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation. He was the chair of Opsware, a software company he founded originally as Loudcloud, when it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. He is also a cofounder of Ning, a company which provides a platform for social-networking websites.

Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong (Livestrong)
If scripted by Hollywood, the story would be dismissed as trite melodrama: A deadly disease strikes a promising athlete. Despite desperately thin odds, he manages not only to beat the affliction but also to return to the sport and win its top prize. Unbelievable, except it’s true.

But the story doesn’t end on the finish line at the Tour de France. His experience made him a part of a cancer community, and motivated him to unleash the same passion and drive he does in bike races to the fight against cancer. Since he made history in 1999, he has won the tour six more times, and has become one of the most recognizable and admired people of this era.

Michael Arrington Michael Arrington (TechCrunch)
A few people have asked me to post a little more information about myself. If you want to see my corporate bio, check out my LinkedIn profile. You can also check out my Flickr pictures (includes both business and personal pictures).

Ken Auletta Ken Auletta (The New Yorker)
Ken Auletta has written Annals of Communications columns and profiles for The New Yorker magazine since 1992. He is the author of ten books, including four national bestsellers. Auletta was among the first to popularize the so-called information superhighway with his February, 1993, profile of Barry Diller’s search for something new. He has profiled the leading figures and companies of the Information Age, including Google, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, AOL Time Warner, John Malone, Harvey Weinstein, and the New York Times; he has dissected media meteors that fell to earth like “push” technology and inter-active TV, probed media violence, the PAC giving of communication giants, the fat lecture fees earned by journalist/pundits, and explored what “synergy” may mean to journalism.

John Battelle John Battelle (Federated Media Publishing)
John Battelle is an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, and author. Currently founder and chairman of Federated Media Publishing, he is also a founder and executive producer of conferences in the media, technology, communications, and entertainment industries and “band manager” with BoingBoing.net. Previously, Battelle was founder, chairman, and CEO of Standard Media International (SMI), publisher of The Industry Standard and TheStandard.com. Prior to founding The Standard, Battelle was a co-founding editor of Wired magazine and Wired Ventures. He is the author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture” (Portfolio, 2005).

Marc Benioff Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com)
Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is regarded as the leader of what he has termed “The End of Software,” the now-proven belief that multi-tenant, on-demand applications democratize information by delivering immediate benefits at reduced risks and costs.

Larry Brilliant Larry Brilliant (Google.org)
Dr. Larry Brilliant is the Executive Director of “Google.org”:www.google.org. In this role, Larry works with the company’s co-founders to define the mission and strategic goals of Google’s philanthropic efforts. Google.org, the umbrella organization for these efforts, includes the Google Foundation as well as Google Grants (the AdWords giving program) and the company’s major initiatives aimed at reducing global poverty, improving the health of the least advantaged in the world, and working to halt or even reverse the effects of the climate crisis.

Larry is an M.D. and M.P.H., board-certified in preventive medicine and public health. He is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, which works in dozens of countries around the world, primarily to eliminate preventable and curable blindness. He serves as a member of the strategic advisory committee for Kleiner Perkins (KPCB) Venture Capital and also sits on the boards of The Skoll Foundation, Health Metrics Network, Omidyar Networks Humanity United, and InSTEDD, an organization bringing technological tools to improve disaster response.

Ralph de la Vega Ralph de la Vega (AT&T Mobility)
Ralph de la Vega is president and chief executive officer of the nation’s leading wireless carrier, the wireless unit of AT&T. He is responsible for all aspects of wireless operations, including sales, marketing, operations and network. He was appointed to this position in October 2007. Previously, he served as group president-Regional Telecommunications and Entertainment, where he was responsible for overall leadership in regional wireline, including consumer, regional business sales and network.

Chris DeWolfe Chris DeWolfe (MySpace)
Chris DeWolfe is the co-founder and chief executive officer of MySpace.com, the leading online lifestyle portal. DeWolfe, alongside co-founder and president, Tom Anderson, created a new platform for a generation to communicate and discover culture based around the self expression and connectivity of the site’s 110 million active users.

Dave Girouard Dave Girouard (Google Enterprise)
Dave Girouard manages Google’s growing enterprise business worldwide. He leads a team responsible for sales, marketing, product development and customer support. Prior to joining Google, Dave was senior vice president of marketing and business development at Virage, a provider of multimedia search and content management software. Dave also founded and developed Virage’s application services business. He came to Virage from the worldwide product marketing organization at Apple, where he spent several years in product management. Prior to that, Dave was an associate in Booz Allen & Hamilton’s Information Technology practice in San Francisco. He started his career in enterprise systems development and integration in the Boston office of Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting).

Dave graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in Engineering Sciences and a BE in Computer Engineering. He also received an MBA from the University of Michigan with High Distinction.

Michael L. Goguen Michael L. Goguen (Sequoia Capital)
Michael Goguen is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital focusing on cleantech, semiconductor and systems investments. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital in 1996, Michael spent 10 years in various engineering, research, and product management roles at DEC, SynOptics and Centillion, and was a director of Engineering at Bay Networks (NT). Michael was also a Technical Chairman of the ATM Forum. Michael has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Al Gore Al Gore (Current)
Former Vice President Al Gore is co-founder and executive chairman of Current, an Emmy Award-winning, independently owned media company that combines its television and interactive platforms to create programming for a young adult audience.

He is also chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-partisan, non-profit organization devoted to mobilizing global support for urgent and sustainable solutions for the climate crisis.

Gore is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a London-based firm that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing; and recently became a partner in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has formed a strategic alliance with Generation to focus on solutions to the climate crisis. In addition, Gore serves on the board of directors of Apple and as senior adviser to Google.

Al Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the forty-fifth vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years as a key member of the administration’s economic team, as President of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council, and as leader of a wide range of Administration initiatives.

He is the author of the #1 bestsellers The Assault on Reason and An Inconvenient Truth, and an Oscar-winning documentary movie. His 1992 international bestseller, Earth in the Balance, has just been re-issued.

Gore and his wife, Tipper, live in Nashville, Tennessee. They have four children and three grandchildren.

Saul Griffith Saul Griffith (Makani Power/Squid Labs)
Dr. Saul Griffith has multiple degrees in materials science and mechanical engineering and completed his PhD in Programmable Assembly and Self Replicating machines at MIT. He is the co-founder of numerous companies including: Low Cost Eyeglasses, Squid Labs, Potenco, Instructables.com, HowToons and Makani Power. Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention including the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Collegiate Inventor’s award, and the Lemelson-MIT Student prize. A large focus of Saul’s research efforts are in minimum and constrained energy surfaces for novel manufacturing techniques and other applications. Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, and energy production. Saul co-authors children’s comic books called “HowToons” about building your own science and engineering gadgets with Nick Dragotta and Joost Bonsen. Saul is a technical advisor to Make magazine and Popular Mechanics. Saul is a columnist and contributor to Make and Craft magazines.

Marc Hodosh Marc Hodosh (TED MED, X PRIZE)
Marc Hodosh leads the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a $10 million competition to inspire rapid and cost effective genome sequencing technology. Marc is also President/Curator of TED MED, a conference he is re-launching in the fall of 2009, in partnership with TED founder, Richard Wurman. He has been a consultant to inventor Dean Kamen at DEKA Research & Development and is also Chairman of Dean’s FIRST Robotics competition in Boston, inspiring thousands of high school students to pursue careers in science & technology.

Tony Hsieh Tony Hsieh (Zappos.com)
Tony originally got involved with Zappos as an advisor and investor in 1999, about 2 months after the company was founded. Over time, Tony ended up spending more and more time with the company because it was both the most fun and the most promising out of all the companies that he was involved with. He eventually joined Zappos full time in 2000. Under his leadership, Zappos has grown gross merchandise sales from $1.6M in 2000 to $840M in 2007 by focusing relentlessly on customer service.

Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post)
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of eleven books. She is also co-host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political roundtable program.

Joel Hyatt Joel Hyatt (Current TV)
Joel Hyatt, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Current, has twice before turned ideas into successful ventures, both times against significant odds. He took on the legal establishment with Hyatt Legal Services, which provided low-cost services to middle and lower-income families and grew to serve over three million clients. His Hyatt Legal Plans became America’s largest provider of employer-sponsored group legal plans. Hyatt Legal Plans was acquired by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in 1997.

Rajesh Jain Rajesh Jain (Netcore Solutions)
Rajesh is Managing Director of Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd, a software company, based in Mumbai, India. Netcore is working actively in the mobile media space in India. Rajesh has also co-founded Novatium and and Rajshri Media. He has also invested in 10 other companies in the broadband and mobile space. Rajesh lives in Mumbai, India. His blog is at http://emergic.org.

Kevin Johnson Kevin Johnson (Microsoft)
As president of the Platforms & Services Division of Microsoft, Kevin Johnson leads an organization of over 14,000 employees responsible for product development, marketing and strategy for the Windows and Online Services businesses. With Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and seven other senior executives, Johnson also serves on the Senior Leadership Team that sets overall strategy and direction for Microsoft.

Kevin Kelly Kevin Kelly (Wired)
For 25 years Kevin Kelly has been a participant in, and reporter on, the culture of technology. Based in his studio in Pacifica, California, he immerses himself in the long-term trends and social consequences of technology. Kevin Kelly is currently Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He helped launch Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. During Kelly’s tenure as editor at Wired, the magazine won two National Magazine Awards (the industry’s equivalent of two Oscars). He is currently editor and publisher of the popular Cool Tools, True Film, and Street Use websites. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. A few years ago he started a scientific campaign to catalog all the living species of life on earth. This project has morphed into developing a web page for every species in an Encyclopedia of Life.

Jack Klues Jack Klues (VivaKi)
Never one to dwell in the comfort of status quo, Jack Klues has been observing the explosion of digital media and clocking the incredible speed of change in the marketing industry his entire, 30-year career. As the consumer contact environment has shape-shifted in the past decade, Jack has reinvented and expanded his media companies to help clients build connections to people in an increasingly complex world.

In June of 2008 he helped Publicis Groupe launch a new 20th century communications operation called VivaKi, a catalytic community of people, companies and capabilities aggressively delivering the tools, talent and touchpoints marketers need to reach consumers in a digital world.

Along with David Kenny, Jack is managing partner of VivaKi, an organization that leverages the scale of the autonomous brands Digitas, Starcom-MediaVest, Denuo and Zenith-Optimedia. VivaKi works in service to many of the world’s most powerful marketers, including P&G, GM, American Express, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Nintendo, Wal-Mart, Kraft and many others.

Lawrence Lessig Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons)
Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school’s Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Lessig represented web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, and was named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing “against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online.” His current academic work addresses a kind of “corruption.”

Professor Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He is a board member of Creative Commons and serves on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge.

Max Levchin Max Levchin (Slide)
Max is the visionary behind Slide, the largest social software company in the world. He is also renowned as the co-founder of PayPal, an expert in combating online fraud and one of the hardest working entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Before starting Slide, he incubated several other start-ups, including Yelp, where he currently sits as Chairman of the Board. Max started PayPal in 1998, immediately after graduating from college, and sold it four years later to eBay for more than $1.5 billion at the age of 26. Originally from Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union), Max moved to Chicago at the age of 16 and later received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Max sits on the board of several other companies and trains for triathlons when he’s not obsessing over Slide’s business.

Kevin Lynch Kevin Lynch (Adobe Systems Incorporated)
As chief technology officer and senior vice president, Experience & Technology Organization, Kevin Lynch oversees Adobe’s experience design and core technology across business units. This role includes driving Adobe’s technology platform for designers and developers across desktops and devices, including Adobe® Flash® Player, Portable Document Format (PDF), Adobe Flex® and Adobe AIR™, the cross-operating system application runtime that bridges the computing power and data capabilities of the desktop with the real-time dynamic capabilities of the web. He also oversees Adobe’s developer relations program, including the integration of customers and partners in the development process through Adobe Labs and customer advisory councils.

Jack Ma Jack Ma (Alibaba)
Jack Ma is the chairman and non-executive director of Alibaba.com. He is the lead founder of Alibaba Group and has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group since its inception in 1999. Jack is responsible for the overall strategy and focus of Alibaba Group and our company. Jack is a pioneer in the Chinese Internet industry, founding China Pages, one of the first Internet-based directories in China, in 1995. From 1998 to 1999, Jack headed an information technology company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC), a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC).

Paul Maritz Paul Maritz (VMware, Inc.)
Paul Maritz is President and CEO of VMware, Inc. Prior to joining VMware, Maritz was President, Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division at EMC Corporation. He joined EMC in February 2008 when EMC acquired Pi Corporation, where he was the founder and CEO.

Maritz is an IT veteran and visionary who spent 14 years working at Microsoft, where he served as a member of the five-person Executive Committee that managed the overall company. He oversaw the development and marketing of System Software Products (including Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows 2000), Development Tools (Visual Studio) and Database Products (SQL Server), and the complete Office and Exchange Product Lines. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent five years working at Intel Corporation.

Mary Meeker Mary Meeker (Morgan Stanley)
Mary Meeker is a managing director and serves as leader of Morgan Stanley’s global technology research team. Meeker co-covers U.S.-based internet and consumer software companies including Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, eBay, and Amazon.com.

Rich Miner Rich Miner (Google)
Rich has been developing innovative communications and interface-intensive applications for more than 20 years. He is currently group manager of mobile platforms for Google, helping to build the Android platform. Rich has been with Google since the company’s acquisition of Android, a mobile software platforms company he co-founded.

Elon Musk Elon Musk (Tesla Motors)
Elon Musk has been the primary funding source for Tesla Motors, from when Tesla Motors was just three people and a business plan to present day, having led the Series A, Series B and co-led the Series C. Electric vehicles have long been one of his primary interests, stemming from his days in the early nineties working on high energy density capacitor technology in Silicon Valley.

Tim O'Reilly Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media, Inc.)
Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. O’Reilly Media also publishes online through the O’Reilly Network and hosts conferences on technology topics, including the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and the Web 2.0 Conference. Tim’s blog, the O’Reilly Radar “watches the alpha geeks” to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim is on the boards of MySQL, CollabNet, Safari Books Online, Wesabe, and ValuesOfN, and is a partner in O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

Paul Otellini Paul Otellini (Intel Corporation)
Paul S. Otellini is president and CEO of Intel Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of microprocessors for personal and business computing. Intel technology is creating new ways for the world to work, learn and play by extending the reach of the Internet and solving business problems.

Since joining Intel in 1974, Otellini has managed several Intel businesses, including the company’s PC and server microprocessor division and the global sales and marketing organization.

Michael Pollan Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto)
For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture.

Pollan is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. His previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Pollan’s previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, was also a New York Times bestseller, received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. He is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).

Jesse Robbins Jesse Robbins (O’Reilly Radar)
Jesse Robbins is passionate about Infrastructure, Operations, Emergency Management, and technology that helps people be safe, happy, and free.

He is co-chair of the Velocity Performance & Operations Conference, and is part of the O’Reilly Radar. He previously worked at Amazon.com where his title was “Master of Disaster” and where he was responsible for Website Availability.

Jesse is a volunteer Firefighter/EMT and Emergency Manager, and led a task force deployed in Operation Hurricane Katrina.

Shane Robison Shane Robison (HP)
Shane Robison is responsible for shaping HP’s overall corporate strategy and technology agenda, and oversees the company’s corporate marketing function. He steers the company’s $3.6 billion research and development investment and fosters the development of the company’s global technical community. All of the company’s senior chief technology officers and the director of HP Labs report into him.

Robison also leads the company’s strategy and corporate development efforts, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, intellectual property licensing, venture capital community and partnerships. He was one of four principal architects of HP’s merger with Compaq Computer Corp., and, in 2004, InfoWorld declared Robison one of the world’s 25 most influential chief technology officers. Robison also has responsibility for worldwide corporate marketing activities, including external and internal communications, brand marketing, customer intelligence and corporate affairs.

Robison received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from the University of Utah.

Richard Rosenblatt Richard Rosenblatt (Demand Media Inc.)
Richard Rosenblatt has a unique vision for the future of the Internet. A serial entrepreneur, Richard’s latest venture is Demand MediaTM, a company he co-founded in May 2006 and serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Demand Media has developed a unique platform that leverages cutting edge, user-driven publishing, community, and monetization tools as it seeks to define the next generation of new media companies.

Beerud Sheth Beerud Sheth (Webaroo Inc.)
Beerud is the co-founder and President of Webaroo, which operates the largest and fastest-growing mobile media service in India, called SMS GupShup that enables millions of mobile users to form communities, send and receive group messages, send greetings, run blogs, publish content and more, simply using mobile text messages. Previously, Beerud founded Elance, the leading online services marketplace. Beerud graduated with an MS from MIT, a B.Tech. (with silver medal) from IIT Mumbai, and is charter member of TiE Silicon Valley.

Jeffrey A. Sorenson Jeffrey A. Sorenson (Department of the Army)
Prior to his current position as the Department of the Army CIO/G6, he was the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).

He has over 20 years of acquisition experience as a certified U.S. Army Material Acquisition Manager. His acquisition assignments include: Director, Program Control (Joint Tactical Fusion Program Office); Course Director for the Executive Program Managers Course (Defense Systems Management College); Director, Science and Technology Integration (Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Development); Product Manager for Ground Based CommonSensor-Light (GBCS-L) TEAMMATE TRACKWOLF programs; Project Manager for Night Vision/Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition; Director, Acquisition Directorate (Office of the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers); Senior Military Assistant for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Missiles.

Mathis Wackernagel Mathis Wackernagel (Global Footprint Network)
Mathis is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and has worked on sustainability issues for organizations in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Australia, and has lectured for community groups, governments and their agencies, NGOs, and academic audiences at more than 100 universities around the world. Mathis previously served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Redefining Progress in Oakland, CA, and directed the Centre for Sustainability Studies / Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad in Mexico, which he still advises. He is also an adjunct faculty at SAGE of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Padmasree Warrior Padmasree Warrior (Cisco Systems, Inc.)
Padmasree Warrior is Cisco Systems’ Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, she is responsible for helping drive the company’s technological innovations and strategy, and works closely with its senior executive team and board of directors to align these efforts with Cisco’s corporate goals. As an evangelist for what’s possible, she pushes the organization to stretch beyond its current capabilities – not just in technology, but also in its strategic partnerships and new business models.

Anne Wojcicki Anne Wojcicki (23andMe)
Anne brings to 23andMe a 10-year background in healthcare investing, focused primarily on biotechnology companies. Anne left the investing world with the hope that she could have a positive impact on research and medicine through 23andMe. From her vantage point, Anne saw a need for creating a way to generate more information – especially more personalized information – so that commercial and academic researchers could better understand and develop new drugs and diagnostics. By encouraging individuals to access and learn about their own genetic information, 23andMe will create a common, standardized resource that has the potential to accelerate drug discovery and bring personalized medicine to the public. (Plus, getting access to her own genetic information and understanding it has always been one of Anne’s ambitions.) Anne graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in biology.

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook, which he founded in 2004. Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, families and coworkers. Mark is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. He leads the design of Facebook’s service and development of its core technology and infrastructure. Mark attended Harvard University and studied computer science before moving the company to Palo Alto, California.

Twitter’s Business Model – Real Time Alerts and Keywords July 30, 2008

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Ok way back when we had the tsunami, then the London bombing, and today earthquake in SoCal. Why does it take a disaster or potential disaster to wake up the masses.

Hey people Twitter is real or should I say the twitter’s value proposition is real. MG at Venturebeat has a post nailing the real time nature of Twitter. Big Biz Stone at Twitter opens the curtain to show us the stats (Biz we love stats – keep them coming).

What came out of the blue was David Dalka (one smart guy in Chicago) who brings in his perspective to the Twitter business model question.

David writes: “Graphs and/or alert spikes of user defined keywords – ie ones that are important to oneself personally or to one’s business or clients. I would dare to say this might actually be business model that could lead to meaningful monetization – I think alot of web services haven’t thought this through nearly enough. Organizing real-time data for useful decision making as a business model worked out OK for Michael Bloomberg if I recall correctly. Some might say Google Trends does this already from a search perspective, but it doesn’t break down the word clusters to core words with “sidekicks” and is not the leading indicator that Twitter is by an uncertain but definite time margin.”

The triple net is this: take MG’s post, Big Biz, and David’s and you have the Twitter business model. It’s a communication system about real-time but with asynchonous logging as well. It’s a data mining “quantjock’s” dream. Expect some real innovation around this new twist on Unified Communications.

That is why convergence is happening around presence and why I believe that the Unified Communications (covered on my other blog BroadDev.com) sector may be a pipe dream if presence paradigms like twitter continue to provide real time and non-linear value.

Web 2.0 Walled Garden – It’s Facebook – Please Do the Opposite of AOL July 24, 2008

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Walled garden is a bad word in Web 1.0, but maybe not in Web 2.0 web services. In Web 2.0 and Unified Communications “presence” is a big concept and a battleground for the convergence play – the real Web 2.0 opportunity. Over at GigaOm Om writes about his views on Facebook Connect announced yesterday at the F8 2nd annual developer conference.

Walled gardens conjure up memories of AOL. No user value with vendor lock-in. Is Facebook creating a ‘virtual walled garden’ for their lock-in?. Absolutely. What is a virutal walled garden – a place where users originate and let apps and information come to them. It could be the best user experience (one of user choice) a kinds of safe harbor from the clutter on the web that we are seeing today. I think that the Facebook developer story is moving to an approach where apps and information come to the user by design. Where users have a choice to leave at anytime, but the value of the experience creates a comfortably numb user experience that makes them stay.

If I can have my presence sit at Facebook and it can let value come to me via intelligence then I like that. Facebook could be a personal agent for me using my data, their data, machines, and developers apps do all the work. Letting Facebook and my social graph do work for me can be a good thing. This is the original Google value proposition. However, it’s the opposite of Google. It’s discovery and navigaiton in reverse. It’s automated reverse navigation. The social graphs work for me the user. No silos, no requirements, no extra steps, time savings just value.

This line is very telling from Om’s story: Each service adds a few more data points about you inside the Facebook brain, which is quite aware of your activities inside the Facebook ecosystem. The brain can then crunch all that information and build a fairly accurate image of who you are, what you like and what might interest you. With all that information at its disposal, Facebook can build a fairly large cash register.

In my view Facebook is land grabing the presence component of what is looking to be a paradigm shift that will disrupt the Web 2.0 and Unified Communciations sectors (covered at BroadDev.com).

Other Web 2.0 services like Twitter et al have a unique presence component as well but they might just be a feature not a company. Silo’d platforms might not make it going forward.

Facebook might just force a defacto standard in presence by their dominate position at the user level (90 million and growing).

Could presence be ripped away from the emerging segments like Unified Communications platform and converged into an environment like Facebook? To me user value will win and if users prefer environments like Facebook where information and applications come to them then that might just force some massive change across the board.

Vertical silos might be demolished by open horizontal networks. Interesting development if that happens.

Is it the walled garden of Web 2.0?

Crack Pipe Alert – Friendfeed iPhone Interface July 1, 2008

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Services like Twiter once again prove that addiction lives for Internet conversations. Then Friendfeed launches this year. Friendfeed is crack and now they launch the ‘crack pipe’ for their users. Friendfeed is addictive and their interface was mainly on PC. I’ve complained that their interface needs work and they have been busy on that but now they give us an iphone interface – the proverbial ‘crack pipe’ for internet conversation junkies.

Brett Taylor posts the news on the Friendfeed blog. He says “When you visit friendfeed.com in your iPhone browser, you will get the new interface automatically”

The FriendFeed iPhone interface looks a lot like the standard FriendFeed interface, but the font sizes, graphics, and forms have been tweaked to make it easier to use on the iPhone.

If you decide you want the standard FriendFeed interface on your iPhone, you can get to it by clicking the “Normal (non-iPhone) interface” link at the bottom of any page. Your preference will be saved, so it’s easy to stick with the old interface if you choose to.

Friendfeed has a ton of potential but it poses a ‘job risk’. In talking to normal web users they think that Friendfeed is to distracting to getting their jobs done. For me it is a great way to track conversations.

Friendfeed will play (I think) a valuable role in the emerging social media marketing landscape. If they get their data sets correct they can pose a risk to algorithmic content and conversation search.

MG has a great writeup.

Furrier.org Podcast: Tim O’Reilly On Web 2.0 and The Internet Operating System June 12, 2008

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Tim O’Reilly, a pioneer in web technology, discusses what it means for the Internet to be a platform. He proposes companies that value the user will be the real winners in the Web 2.0 and give sound advice on technologies and approaches that retailers and media companies should embark on to be successful in this new era of user-driven content.

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. The company also publishes online through the O’Reilly Network and hosts conferences on technology topics. Tim is an activist for open source, open standards, and sensible intellectual property laws. Since 1978, Tim has led the company’s pursuit of its core goal: to be a catalyst for technology change by capturing and transmitting the knowledge of “alpha geeks” and other innovators.

We’re here with Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, one of the best computer book publishers in the world. Tim is most recently known as being a thought leader and visionary in the evolving modern web space and has coined the term “Web 2.0,” and holds a conference. He really is leading the trend towards this modern web or semantic web environment.

Social Media is Web 2.0 – Relationships – New Linchpin for User Value June 2, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Mike Arrington weights in with his opinion of social media. He makes a relevant (pun intended) point – content spewing is clutter that creates noise which in turn makes relevance harder to filter. Timing couldn’t have been better with Jeremiah weighing in on what he sees as the big trends in social media.

Let me break this down – participation and interaction is key (as Fred Wilson and Mike Arrington point out). However Chis Saad, Alex van Elsas point out – it’s personal and about motivation of users. It’s about Relationships.

It’s about RELATIONSHIPS in context to the user ‘s behavior.

Web 1.0 – USER paradigm – self service was at the heart of the user experience

    1. search/browse
    2. SELF SERVICE
    3. information
    4. action

    Web 2.0 – USER paradigm – everything remains the same except instead of self service (which is now a full blown user norm) it’s about relationships
    1. search/browse
    2. RELATIONSHIPS
    3. information
    4. action

    RELATIONSHIPS are at the heart of the user experience.

    Big Trend and Opportunity: the need for the creation of the key utilitiy for users around their relationships (the holy grail for advertisers and new startups). It will be in the form of new filters in the contextual and behaviorial area around relationships and information.

    Just like in Web 1.0 it was in context to the web page and keywords in search. For Web 2.0 we will see a multidimensional approach to context and behavior centered around relationships – to content, people, data, ..etc.

    At the end of the day the value to the user will be the same as Web 1.0 – getting information and taking action. However, instead of self service being the linchpin for context and behavioral value to users, a new linchpin will be based upon relationships.

    Whoever makes the users value proposition of getting information and taking action faster, easiers, and simplier will win.

Podcast: Search 2.0 – From Search to Discover by Yezdi Lashkari May 1, 2008

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Yezdi Lashkari outlines the origins and limitations of collaborative filtering, the importance of Web 2.0, and how the commoditization of certain specific web technologies will benefit both consumers and businesses alike. He addresses the importance of blending algorithms to effectively harness collective user behavior, and the wisdom of crowds.

Yezdi Lashkari was a co-founder of Firefly Networks (acquired by Microsoft), a pioneering company in the area of collaborative filtering and personalization.  Lashkari recently left Microsoft, where he played a number of senior product leadership roles, the last being a special assignment sponsored directly by CEO Steven Ballmer, focused on researching large scale network-centric computing infrastructures for thousands of hosts.  This work is now driving one of the technical pillars of the post-Vista Windows release.  Lashkari holds numerous patents in collaborative filtering, data protection and user profiling technologies.  He received his M.S. from the MIT Media Laboratory and has three computer science degrees covering research areas ranging from artificial intelligence, databases, to collaborative filtering and personalization.

Enjoy the podcast sponsored by Aggregate Knowledge – Leader in Web 2.0 Discovery Technology

Yezdi and I talk about the big trend in Search or Search 2.0 – and it has nothing to do with search as we know it today.

The full transcript from the Interview is here.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Interview in NY April 30, 2008

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Furrier.org’s own Maria Bartiromo of CNBC sat down with Google CEO Eric Schmidt for an exclusive interview. Given the scope of the interview and the timing of it – I wanted to provide the entire transcript from the CNBC interview. Commentary will be flying in on this one. Already many are chiming in like SAI.

What strikes me is the humble nature of Eric Schmidt and the magnitude of their plans. SAI says that YouTube will be the secret weapon but it’s clear YouTube doesn’t have a clue on how to monetize it’s video position and audience asset. No offense YouTube, but I haven’t had one intelligent conversation with one YouTube person on monetization. Personally I love YouTube and see huge potential, but the current YouTube team just seems stuck. For example stupid pre roll deals and ackward sponsorships. Enough said, YouTube get on the cluetrain. Maybe Chad or Steve can fix it.

However it’s clear to me what Google’s secret weapon is …it’s intelligent software across their distributed platform – datacenter, communications, and Web. Ok this is not that obvious to most non-computer science folks but think a ‘new kind of’ Artificical Intelligence or AI. While Microsoft rolls out Live Mess opps Live Mesh(note had to get Live Mesh using only my hotmail account – duh), Google has to deliver on a new software model around the ‘new kind of’ AI.

There is more to be said…Maybe I’ll do more on the new podcast that I’m doing called the Discovery Series

Thanks to CNBC for the interview:

Here is Eric Schmidt interview via the transcript:

Maria’s interview with Google CEO, Dr. Eric Schmidt Tuesday at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles to discuss Google’s growth and U.S. slowdown, the possibility of a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo!, online advertising growth rates, Google’s European stronghold and Google’s stock, and other topics.

Here is the full, unaltered transcript of that interview:

Maria Bartiromo, host: Eric, thanks so much for joining us.

Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO: Thank you for having me on again.

Bartiromo: Let’s begin with this debate that seems to be brewing on Wall
Street about growth. So the company grew 46 percent in the third quarter, 40
percent in the fourth quarter, 30 percent in the next quarter, and then
sequentially 1 1/2 percent when you look quarter to quarter. How insulated
would you say is Google to the economic slowdown or recession?

Google Headquarters
Paul Sakuma / AP

Schmidt: Well, the numbers you’re using are year over year, quarter over quarter in the US. Globally, of course, we had good growth, and the US numbers are masked by the fact that, a year ago, we had a very strong quarterly growth of that quarter. So the real growth rate in the US is good,
although overall growth rates are slowing, as they have for years. Just because of the scale and size of what we operate. The business has continued to be good.

Bartiromo: OK, because when you get to a certain size, it’s really hard to
sort of grind down more market share when you’ve already got 70 percent or get
that much bigger, given the fact that the company is getting–you’re a large
business.


Schmidt:
But we have–we have multiple ways in which we grow. Of
course, more people use the Internet, more people are using electronic
commerce on the Internet, more people are clicking on the ads, and also our ad
technology is getting much, much better. And it’s really any one of those
will push us over the top in any given quarter; sometimes they all come
together. We don’t seem to be very sensitive to macroeconomics, at least
right now. We don’t seem to be very sensitive to things like recession. But
we’re very sensitive to how quickly do we bring in the new product improvement
or something like that.

Bartiromo: The comScore data took everybody’s estimates down, and this whole
debate about whether it was accurate or not. How can you ensure that the
growth occurs, even if people pull in their spending, if perhaps advertisers
slow down on the budgets? I mean, is it fair to say that the hypergrowth of
2004 to ’07 is–has been seen?

Schmidt: Well, as I said, if you think about it over a five- or six- or
seven-year period, growth rates are slowing, as they have to. So I don’t
think it’s a big shift. It’s not, you know, today it was one way and tomorrow
it’s another. In our case, we focus on quality, and we have a very simple
model. If we show fewer ads that are more targeted, those ads are worth more.
So we’re in this strange situation where we show a smaller number of ads and
we make more money because we show better ads. And that’s the secret of
Google.

Bartiromo: Yes, that’s what Mary Meeker was saying. She’s saying, `Look, it

could be that they’re actually benefiting from a recession because they’re
monetizing the ads better.’

Schmidt: There’s been–you you know, if you were running a business
today, you would be looking very carefully at where is your marketing spend
going? And we think that you’ll choose to put your marketing spend on the
thing that’s most measurable, the thing that’s most, you know–because you can
always defer a branding campaign that may or may not work, but you want to get
those customers and those leads right now, and that’s what we do.

Bartiromo: Let’s talk about DoubleClick. You acquired the company. How’s
the integration going?

Schmidt: Well, it just started. It started about three weeks ago. And
what we’re doing is we’re taking their products and our products and
integrating them so that people have better tools, advertisers have more,
literally, ads, and publishers have more spots that they can publish
information into. So it’s the combination of all that that we’ve been waiting
for so long, and it’s under way. It takes six months to get all the products
together.

Bartiromo: So you think that the integration process will take about six
months?

Schmidt: It’s on the order of that. And, of course, at Google

Google Inc
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everything is a try. We try this, we try that, we see what works. The early
indications are that we’ll be largely complete within that period.

Bartiromo: It’s no secret that Google owns search, but what about the display
ads? Is it–is it fair to say that’s sort of up for grabs? You know, you’ve
got DoubleClick, Microsoft

Microsoft Corp
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has aQuantis. It’s up for–up for grabs, that part
of the business.

Schmidt: Well, it’s fair to say that that Google is not the leader in
display ads, but our customers want to be able to purchase text ads and
display ads and other advertising in one purchasing bundle, and the
combination of the tools that we’re developing, plus the DoubleClick
integration acquisition and so forth, allows us to offer a single product for
those advertisers. So we think that will help us with our display ads
competitiveness. We think our technology is better. And so really now it’s a
question of earning those customers’ respect and knowledge.

Bartiromo: So how do you ensure that that was actually the right acquisition
and not just go it alone, do it on your own?

Bartiromo: Tell me what you’re doing with Yahoo! in terms of testing. On
the earnings call last time, you said you’re setting up ads there. How’s it
going? What’s involved?

Schmidt: Well, the long and short of it is that we did a test for about
two weeks, which has since ended, where Yahoo! took a small percentage of
their ads and replaced them by ours. We did this as part of a commercial
conversation, which I obviously cannot go into, but it’s one of the strategic
options that we believe Yahoo! is considering at this time.

Bartiromo: Now, of course, after that, I guess the Department of Justice
announces that it’s, you know, doing an inquiry about this. Have you heard
from the Department of Justice on this?

Schmidt: Well, again, without going into the specifics, you should
expect that in all of these possible transactions, all of the regulatory
bodies will be reviewing them. If there were an acquisition of Yahoo!, for
example, the Department of Justice would also be doing a review. And the
anti-trust laws allow the government–and I think properly so–to look at both
commercial deals as well as acquisitions.

Bartiromo: What kind of a combination would you like to see with Yahoo!?
What kind of a partnership would you like to see?

Schmidt: Oh, well, we actually enjoyed working with Yahoo!. We also
compete with them. They’re a well run and, I think, impressive company.
We’ve primarily been concerned about the possibility of a Microsoft
acquisition of Yahoo! because of Microsoft’s history and because of the
assets that Yahoo! has are quite valuable. And we actually think that in the
wrong hands, they could be used in the wrong way.

Bartiromo: What do you mean, Microsoft’s history?

Schmidt: I think people are aware of the anti-trust trial from 10 years
ago. Microsoft has a long history in that area.

Bartiromo: Yeah, you can bet, I guess, who tipped off the DOJ about the phone
call that was made, Steve Ballmer or somebody from that side.

So what do we know about Microsoft and Yahoo!? Tell me this. I mean, I know
that, you know, we’re waiting on possible news from Microsoft, possibly, a
hostile–we don’t know what’s going to happen next. But what kind of a
challenge would Microsoft/Yahoo! be for Google?

Schmidt: Well, today we actually do not know what’s going on. We read
in the press that there’s discussions and we’ll see what they decide to do.
If they go ahead and the merger’s ultimately successful, it would be possible
for Microsoft to integrate some of the properties and essentially eliminate
consumer choice, particularly in electronic mail, instant messaging, the
things where they have 80 or 90 percent market share, and that’s a sweet spot
for Microsoft in its ability to eliminate choice.

Bartiromo: Mm-hmm. And, of course, Google has been getting all these new
killer apps, whether it’s Gmail or Maps or, you know, spreadsheets.
Ultimately is the game to compete direct, head on, with Microsoft?

Schmidt: Well, Google is actually trying to be an innovator, and we’re
always concerned about competition. We have found that if we can simply
invent a brand-new product that really solves a problem that really does
matter to you, we can get your business, we can get your attention, we can get
your traffic and your customers or what have you. We’re trying in a new thing
called cloud computing to offer very powerful Web services that do the common
things–e-mail, word processing and so forth–where the data’s kept in the
cloud, it’s kept by somebody else, it’s managed by professionals. You don’t
need to worry about where you keep all that information. We like that model a
lot. We’re getting traction. It is a competitive threat to other companies,
but we think it’s a technological breakthrough.

Bartiromo: How will you respond if Microsoft goes hostile?

Schmidt: Well, a lot will depend on whether their strategy is
successful. In the short term, we have pointed out the possibility of a bad
outcome, but it really depends on what happens in the hostile.

Bartiromo: Do you have any sense of how these things go? I mean, can they go
in the open market, buy the stock, and then just create a proxy battle?

Schmidt: All I know is what I’ve read in the press, which is that
essentially you replace the board and you force–you force the deal.

Bartiromo: Let me ask you about YouTube and MySpace. YouTube has these
phenomenal growth rates. What do you think is behind that?

Schmidt: Video is powerful. And it’s amazing. You know, we started off
with Mentos and the other sort of fun videos, and now people, because they
have so many digital cameras, are essentially uploading everything.
Furthermore, we’re beginning to see glimpses of significant professional
content on YouTube. People are using it–because there’s such a large reach,
they’re learning how to reach that audience. We’re working but have not yet
in my view gotten a breakthrough around monetization. So while we have lots
and lots of traffic and we have lots and lots of interesting and creative
people and all sorts of controversies–we’re blocked in countries, so on and
so on–I don’t think we’ve quite figured out the perfect solution of how to
make money, and we’re working on that. That’s our highest priority this year.

Bartiromo: Which is a huge priority, clearly. A lot of people feel like this
is an amazing opportunity for you. So, as far as monetizing that business on
YouTube, do you think that takes a year? Does it take the next five years?
What’s your time frame on that?

Schmidt: We believe the best products are coming out this year. And
they’re new products. They’re not announced. They’re not just putting
in-line ads in the things that people are trying. But we have a number–and,
of course, Google is an innovative place. The Yahoo! team are trying various
new forms of advertising, ones which are much more participative, much more
creative, much more–much more interesting in and of themselves. Google
believes that advertising itself has value. The ads literally are valuable to
consumers. Not just to the advertisers, but the consumers.

Bartiromo: They want to look at them.

Schmidt: When they’re targeted. When they’re the right ad for what
you’re doing or what you care about.

Bartiromo: Mm-hmm. But, you know, it gets me to MySpace. Some people feel
like, when you look at the MySpace part of the business, that’s really where
people are looking at, or feeling a bit of an economic downturn. Let me ask
you about that. The deal involving revenue promises, is that going to impact
margins in the coming two years?

Schmidt: Not materially in that sense. We have pointed out, and I’ll
repeat again, that the whole social networking space has been harder for us to
monetize–that is, develop advertising businesses again–than some of the
other–than some of the other spaces that we’re in. It has to do what people
are doing. When you think about it, you’re in a social network, you’re
looking at people’s photos, you’re figuring out where your friends are.
You’re not as likely to be purchasing a new car at the same time or purchasing
clothes or purchasing a book or what have–whatever business that you’re in.
So the development of the advertising tools and techniques, literally the
platform, has been more difficult than we have thought. But we’re working on
it, and we’re hopeful

Bartiromo: You’ve got $12 billion in cash right now?

Schmidt: A little more than that.

Bartiromo: What are your plans for that money? A lot of people say, `Look,
the company’s doing well. Growth is still continuing very strongly, global in
particular. Why not pay a dividend out? Why not buy back stock?

Schmidt: We love watching that cash sit in a well-managed bank and not
get lost.

Bartiromo: So you could categorically rule out, no dividend coming?

Schmidt: Well, first this: We never rule anything out. But right now
we’re happy to let the cash accumulate. The cash represents a strategic
option for the future. As you know, we had the luxury of entering the
wireless auction. And we did not win the auction, but our financial resources
allowed us to credibly and seriously enter an auction for 4.65 billion.
Couldn’t have done that without the cash.

Bartiromo: What did you get out of that, though, Eric?

Schmidt: Well, from a corporate perspective, we participated in
something important. From a consumer perspective, we know that our
participation helped in making sure that the networks remained open. So
consumers get choices. What’s better than that?

Bartiromo: Yeah, and the FCC was happy about that.

Mobile. A lot of people say mobility is where it’s at. You’ve said,
actually, I’ve heard you on conference calls saying that this is one of the
big priorities for the company. How do you envision this? Tell me what
you’re looking for.

Schmidt: First place, everyone I know, everyone you know carries a
mobile phone. And it’s true in every country.

Bartiromo: And I’m not carrying my PC, by the way.

Schmidt: And most people in most developed countries have a roughly 100
percent coverage of mobile phones. So it really is a tremendous phenomenon.
Over the next three or four years, there’ll be more than another billion or so
mobile phones added. Eventually our numbers indicate that there’ll be five or
so billion mobile phones in a world of six billion or so. People, this is a
phenomenon. It’s an unprecedented reach, even greater than, for example,
television, or even electricity in some cases. So that’s a platform that we
can exploit. Our mobile phone, both search traffic as well as advertising is
growing very rapidly, and we think people will do more and more interesting
things in mobile phones. And, I mean, small phones, big phones, big screens,
things that don’t look like a phone, things which are mobile.

Furthermore, the telecommunications industry is helping because they’re
deploying billions of dollars of literally excess data capacity so these
things will have fast networks wherever I go. One of the greatest things for
me is whenever I fly somewhere, I open up and I open up my iPhone or my
BlackBerry, and, boom, there’s everything in my world as I’ve landed in a
country I’ve never been in. It’s a remarkable achievement.

Bartiromo: Yeah. What needs to happen before we actually get to that world
that you’re talking about? In other words, do we need to see the providers
create different screens? I mean, do you need a larger screen to access some
of this data? How do we get there?

Schmidt: Well, one of the problems is we haven’t figured out a way to
change finger sizes. We just haven’t…

Bartiromo: Right.

Schmidt: There’s no solution to that.

Bartiromo: Right.

Schmidt: We’d like to, but we haven’t done it. And people don’t like to
kind of go like this. So you need a certain size screen. But there’s other
technology. For example, the processors in the phones have gotten faster.
The batteries have gotten longer last–longer lasting. The screens have
gotten brighter. The whole device has gotten lighter. So all of that has
been happening while people have been talking about this. We know that these
things are working now. We know because we measure it that there’s been a
huge increase in maps, Google Maps, hugely successful. These phones have
GPSes in them. So when I want to go to the equivalent of a Starbucks, I just
type “Starbucks,” it says it’s over there. For me, that’s just a huge–a huge
improvement. And that service is available almost everywhere in the world.

Bartiromo: That’s amazing. Let’s–that transitions right to the rest of the
world. Global has been really the hot spot for Google. Tell me how you keep
that going. Where are the biggest opportunities for Google right now outside
of the United States?

Dr. Schmidt: Well, first place, the Internet is growing faster outside the
United States than in the United States. Also advertising online growth rates
are higher outside the United States than they are in the United States.
You’ve got–and of course you have a weak dollar strategy–because the US has
a very weak dollar–so that also helps. For all of those reasons, revenue
outside of the United States should grow dramatically over the next while, and
that’s great.

In our case, the biggest difference–and, in fact, perhaps the only
difference–between people in the US and other people is language. Other than
that, simple rule: Everybody wants the same thing. They want fashion, they
want information, they want products, they want e-commerce, they want it now,
they want to have fun, they want to use credit cards or debit cards. So we
work very hard to make that true globally. I think most of the large,
successful US corporations, the ones that you certainly cover all day, all are
going to see that kind of growth if they’ll well positioned internationally.

Bartiromo: So when you look around the world, what’s the most important, sort
of richest area for you right here?

Schmidt: Well, for us, of course, Europe has been our stronghold for a
long time. And Europe is just very, very strong for Google. They have
relatively higher market share, they’re very sophisticated consumers, and a
very mature advertising rate. If you look at the global advertising market,
it’s the United States, Japan, China, Britain, France and Europe–and Great
Britain. Those are the sort of the big five or six. Well, of course, we’re
doing very well in Europe, we’re doing well in Japan, and we’ve been in the
process of entering China for a while, and we’re growing there nicely.

Bartiromo: What’s happening there, though? You’re number one in every market
except a handful in Asia. How do you break in, and really with a solid
foothold.

Schmidt: Well, in each case, they’re different. In China, of course,
there’s all the issues of regulation and censorship. We delayed our entry for
good reasons, and as a result we’re not number one there. In some of the
other countries, it’s because we didn’t get the language right. It turns out
Asian languages often have what you and I would think of are nonsensical ways
in which words are put together. So, for example, all the words in Thai are
put into one very long sentence. They don’t have word breaks. So developing
the technology to do that right and then search and index against it took us a
little while longer. We’ve now addressed that, so we think we should do well
now.

Bartiromo: Fascinating. So what’s the biggest challenge that you’re facing
today?

Schmidt: In Google’s case, I think it’s internal. It’s the ability to
manage the creative process, deal with the complexity in what is a relatively
large company, in terms of people, who’s doing what. We have 50 development
centers all around the world, people in different time zones, `Are you doing
that? Are you doing that? Do I work with you? How do I check in my code?’
Those sorts of things.

Bartiromo: And for a long time, people were saying, `Look, you know, Google
has this incredible campus, and, you know, spending money, and really
showering employees, making sure that people are happy there.’ Are you
beginning a new process of managing employee growth right now and managing
expenses more aggressively than you have in the past?

Schmidt: Well, certainly not our benefits, per se. Every day I turn
around, there’s some new benefit that we’ve come up with for our employees.
It’s part of our culture; we’re happy to do that. And, of course, we have
gross margins to afford it. So higher gross margins is one of the
explanations. We have slowed our head count growth for a couple of reasons,
but the biggest reason is it began to feel like we really didn’t have a good
sense of what people were doing. The systems in the company, literally who’s
doing what, what are they doing, seemed to lag our ability to hire these great
people. So we slowed it a little bit. But we’re still going to hire some
number of thousand people this year.

Bartiromo: Let me–let me go back to something on the DoubleClick
acquisition. Are you seeing any pushback from some of the advertisers who
say, `Look’–the ad agencies who say, `We’re already spending a ton of money
on Google. Why do we need to spend more on all this other stuff away from
search?’ How are you going to get them to devote more money to display, to
audio, to print and TV ventures, which are–and everything else you’re–and
the display ads, obviously.

Schmidt: Because we earn it. Because you can measure it. We never want
people to give us–give us money that we don’t earn and that we can’t prove
that they–that they–that it really provides value. That’s not a good
business for us. So as we enter these markets, we hope to say, `We have the
tools that can show you that if you put this display ad out there, you really
will get the sale.’ And we have ideas, we have new research in how to do that
in a closed loop way that is phenomenal. So our innovation model is in very
category of ads, not just text ads, to show real return, real sales, and we
think we can do that. And if we do that, we’ll get the business. And if we
can’t do it, we shouldn’t get the business.

Bartiromo: Right, because it’s so measurable. That’s why you don’t really
see a real dry up in the advertising during a recession.

Schmidt: Which is…

Bartiromo: Would you agree with that?

Schmidt: That’s our hope. Our hope is that, again, in a recession,
people would say, `Look, I’m going to put my money where I know my money’s
being well spent.’ Now, we don’t know that we’re in a recession, but if we
were, we hope that’s what will happen.

Bartiromo: Now, earlier you said, `Look, growth levels have to slow,
obviously.’ What’s appropriate then? I mean, when you say–I mean, investors
are saying, `Look, is this company insulated? Is it not insulated?’ So you
say of course growth levels have to slow. To what?

Schmidt: Well, we don’t know, but obviously, we don’t plan to a growth
level, we plan to an innovation level. Our idea is you just keep inventing
new stuff, and it grows as quickly as it can. And there’s some capacity with
which we can deliver these to customers and that they can adopt them. And, of
course, they have to do work. They have to learn how to use new tools, we
have to talk to them, there’s a lot of selling and marketing involved. It
just doesn’t happen automatically. Here’s a new idea. People have to be
comfortable with it. But once they are, we’ve found that growth rate is
quite…(unintelligible).

Bartiromo: As a steward of technology and innovation your entire career, what
would you say is the most innovative thing out there? What’s the next big
thing, from your standpoint?

Schmidt: I’ve always thought that the scariest piece of innovation is
knowledge understanding and language translation. I don’t understand how it
works, but to watch a computer–literally watch it–read something in English,
dissect what it’s about, translate it into a language that I don’t speak and
having that other person say, `Wow, that’s incredible,’ to me, that’s magic.
And it isn’t magic, it’s just very good computer science, very good artificial
intelligence, very good physics. And that’s where we are. So the things that
are most impressive to me are the things where the computer does something
that nobody could do, literally translate things 100 language in parallel,
summarize something for me, take me to something which I didn’t know I was
interested in but knows that I cared about it. And we’re right on the cusp of
that.

Bartiromo: Eric, your stock went from $750 to $450 in a very short period of
time. What do you think happened?

Schmidt: I don’t know. We don’t really focus on short-term movement of
the stock price. We said, since the company went public, that we’re in this
for the long term, and we want shareholders to be with us. These short-term
fluctuations in outlook and so forth are not something that we focus on. We
don’t talk about it. We’re really focused on this huge opportunity before us,
which is automating the trillion-dollar industry that is advertising. We
won’t get all of that, for sure, but we should be able to get a significant
part of that over the lifetime, certainly of my service to the company. And
our goal is to build this into an institution that lasts for many, many years
and is the greatest innovator in technology in this space.

Bartiromo: So the biggest priorities right now, continuing to access that
potential huge, huge advertising market. What else?

Schmidt: Well, our number one priority is end-user–end-user happiness.
Literally, are people happy with the results that they get using Google
search? So it’s literally search, and every day we bring out new improvements
and indices that are–taxonomies that are understanding of language, more
content, bigger–all of the things that make Google such a great search
experience. That’s our number-one priority, even more important, for example,
than advertising. The way we pay for it, of course, is by improving our
advertising solutions, as you described. That’s what we do in the core.

Our next big play is in this applications phase, where we think people spend a
lot of time online with information, and we can help them, whether it’s their
e-mail, which is an easy one to understand, but what about their personal
data? What about their spreadsheets and their calendar, keeping it all there?
And we can help them search. We can solve the problem of `how do I live in
this digital lifestyle?’ If we do that right, they can do it on mobile phones
as well as at home, in their office and on a Mac and on a PC, and it all works
great.

Bartiromo: This is all fantastic for the consumer. It’s free, they’ve got
access to all this stuff, they don’t have to pay for it. What about…

Schmidt: It’s a pretty good model.

Bartiromo: Yeah.

Schmidt: It works pretty well.

Bartiromo: What about the corporate customer? I understand that there are
tests going on right now. What are you hearing from that customer?

Schmidt: We’re working with the corporate customers to do the same thing
inside their networks as we do with consumers. Now, corporate customers are
not the same thing as consumer customers. Corporate customers have a much
higher need for reliability, so we’ll sign an agreement that guarantees a
certain level of service. But then we charge for it. So that’s a case where
people are willing to pay for something which is free without the level of
reliability. They also have other needs. They need greater security, for all
the obvious reasons. And they also need better integration with all of the
other services that their companies have. This is a long process. It’s not a
fast process. But it’s very deeply valuable. And those customers we will
have for 20 or 30 or 40 years as they build into our model. We like that
model. It’s an enterprise play. It’s a business that I’ve been in for a long
time, and one which will ultimately be very, very lucrative through Google.

Bartiromo: Do you ever look back and think about what has happened to the
company? I mean, you, for a long time, have been really one of the most
admired companies out there, and then one of the sexy, sort of big growers out
there. And then as the company got bigger and bigger, people started to get
afraid of Google, they way they were afraid of Microsoft at one point as well.
Do you worry that that’s the perception or that perception could take hold at
some point?

Schmidt: We do worry about perception because we want to make sure that
we are–that our perception is consistent with the way we way we behave.
Google runs on a set of principles, and every company has their own
principles. Ours are about doing no evil, it’s about trying to serve the end
user. Larry Page, our–one of our founders, wrote a very thoughtful memo
about what it’s like to be a big company. So, for example, he authored the
rule that we’ll never trap people’s data. So if you become dissatisfied with
us, we will make it easy for you to go to our competitor. Most companies
don’t do that. So we’re trying to find that balance between the structure of
a company and the need for predictability and so forth with our real mission,
which is to serve you as an end user. And if you’re not happy with us,
keeping you trapped, that’s a mistake. We want you to have another choice.

Bartiromo: Final question. Eric, let’s face it. Microsoft wants Yahoo!.
How much of a disadvantage do you think Google is at if these two players get
together, what…(unintelligible)…two and third player in the market?

Schmidt: Well, a lot of people debate this. There’s a big debate within
the company. People say, on the one hand, that we stay focused, which, of
course, we’re very focused, while they’re doing their maneuver. On the other
hand, people are concerned about the history, as I mentioned, and the
possibility of merger. So I don’t think we really know yet. We debate it all
the time.

Bartiromo: Eric, would you like to add anything else?

Schmidt: No, I’m fine. Thank you very much.

Thanks to CNBC for providing a great interview and content from Eric. Here is the original story.

Are Ad Agencies Dying? March 18, 2008

Posted by John in social media.
Tags: , , , , ,
2 comments

It is clear that social media or new online advertising isn’t easy for traditional agencies. Recently an adage article came out and basically said the same thing.. What is the effectiveness of online advertising?

It is clear that advertisers are more in control and the role of the agency is become less relevant in social media. The new web 2.0 trend is presenting opportunities for new web services platforms to be agencies that replace the middleman agency.

Here is my equation for successful marketing or advertising in today’s web 2.0:

Advertising 2.0 = (Social Media + Social Networks) + Social Commerce

I’ve been involved in successful social media campaigns and one consistent observation is that content is very important to influence social networks which in turn creates a ‘conversion’ or social commerce dynamic.

Update:

Twitter conversations are suggesting that agencies will still be around.  Maybe a better title for this post would be:  Traditional Ad Agencies are Dying – Make Room for the New Modern Agency.

For example GM, Intel, Microsoft, and leading bellweathers in advertising are all doubling down every year online advertising at the expense of other areas like TV and print.  If you believe that TV, print, radio, newspapers are declining then the firms servicing them will disappear.

Here is a graph in today’s adage that shows the spend trends in the automotive sector.

4-autograph-031708.jpg

TED Anti-Web 2.0: TED is Irrelevant March 2, 2008

Posted by John in social media.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Businessweek has a great post on TED. All this TED stuff makes me think that TED is irrelevant in today’s world. Their elite model doesn’t work with the web 2.0 movement.  Closed events are so passe.

I’m one of those guys who used to go to all the elite conferences. I don’t get invitations to Foo Camp, TED, or anything – do I care. No. It’s not that I can’t contribute and grok at an intellectual, technical, policy, or society level – I can. It’s their core values and their principle that convince me that TED is irrelevant. 10 years ago I would have disagreed. However, in today’s highly connected web closed doesn’t work. Instead, ideas thrive – they “have legs” and they run far when open. These same ideas die if closed.

The Internet kills the elite conference model. The conference business models are changing. Closed conferences don’t work. The fact is TED doesn’t interest me. Sorry TED guys you just have to convince me that you’re relevant.

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