All-Star Entrepreneurs Discuss the Future
Chad Hurley, Co-Founder & CEO, AVOS Systems
Kevin Rose, Partner, Google Ventures
Niklas Zennstrom, CEO & Founding Partner, Atomico Ventures
Moderated by Michael Arrington, General Partner, CrunchFund
MA says this is an open ended topic…they can talk about the future or whatever they want. MA asks why they do anything everyday, they don’t need to, but they work hard. Why?
NZ says there is so much exciting stuff, so many things happening, so many opportunities than before, so it makes me think there will be even more. Passionate about helping people reach potential.
MA asks if it is about giving back, or is it still competitive? NZ says yes, still wants to win, still wants to compete. CH is here to have fun, to build new things, to solve problems. KR says it does not feel like work, loves tech and wants to see the latest stuff. It never feels about work, I get excited about ideas, a great way to spend time. MA thinks all of them have competitive spark
MA asks CH what he does? CH has created company, an internal dev platform, eg delicious, and doing new ones, eg Zeen.. Allows people to build online magazines. They have 40 employees, across 3 markets (US, China, NZ) MA asks wy delicious, is that old news now? CH has rebuilt it, they are redefining service and will be doing more innovation.
MA asks NZ about his company, is he there everyday? NZ says he has a global footprint, with offices in London, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Istanbul and opening in Tokyo. He works across the world, expanding the business. Need to expand quickly. If you don’t go out fast you will have copies. There are lots of locals. MA asks if he has backed a copycat…NZ says no. YOu need to differentiate between evolution and Skype.
MA asks KR what next? KR gets passionate about helping people develop things, about giving them ideas, about seeing things come into fruition. He is a little burnt out of doing new things, so taking a break. Liking investing. MA asks as KR has not had the HUGE exit, but as an investor he’s been doing great, it’s like a hit parade. Why is he good at picking companies, but not ness building them. KR thinks it’s down to execution.. MAde a load of mistakes; he sold to Revision3 to Discovery..but not huge. MA d not think that KR has had what he wants and that is a problem. MA bests KR does..KR agrees he is bugged by that. It is not ness the dollar amount, when you get to a certain level, it is the same thing. KR wants to create something massive, it’s personal. KR does not know if he will get back out there, will stick with what he is doing for a while. Always have ideas, has things he wants to build.
MA asks what there is? Skype was useful from day 1, the others not so much. KR thinks there is opportunity in TV apps, about commerce, realtime QVC and gaming etc, about purchasing things. NZ would wait to see if it works and then would try to help with expansion. NZ says you have ideas, but you never know if it will work. They did not know if Skype would work, but they would have to try. KR things CH is doing great things, reusable components you can try. reuse, iterate. CH says it was painful to restart all the time., In Google, they saw the tools and saw how much easier it made it
MA asking about KR Chevy Volt..he got it because he had free electricity at Google. But he has a Porsche 911S…and bought a new one recently, the Turbo…why have both! KR always liked Porsches…a compnay he was advisor for sold, he got his money for the shares. THe founder was a Porsche guy, and they got one together…(KR was embarrassed at having to tell this story)
MA asks in the next 5 years, what will be important. NZ thinks about connections, about more of economy online. Today it is about building products, making it easier, it used to be tech, now it is products that can solve problems. THere are still sectors, like health and education that are ready. CH would like to see things become easier, passive, more personalised, more useful. Tracking data etc CH does not necessarily care what friends are doing but cares about what he is doing. MA thinks the guys are being too pragmatic! CH wants to be practical..thinks about personal problems. NZ says there are financial crisis, environment etc and tech can help them solve. YOu can use big data to give better tools. MA asks if Google does look at crazy stuff. KR says there is lots of stuff, but he does seed stuff, so small. He like the quantified self, all the devices to track the person. That will be an interesting space to watch. Looking at mobile, there is a handful of apps they use everyday, we know about 3-4 of these, what else are there. Eg cash free payments? NZ says using phone, email, calendar. They are lacking in innovation there. NZ says a big area is enterprise. They are still inefficient. Would like to see more things happening there.