Invested in Google in 1999. John was criticized then but the bet payed off. Did he just get lucky or was he smart?

John says he's nuts. Giving money to Standford graduates drop-outs pays off.

On going public, the company didn't need cash, so it waited as long as possible. But they wanted to reward employees.

On the two classes of Google stock, John says that the company has already changed the way they work. He thinks that the process of going public went quite well. It raised a lot of money and the auction worked well. The price didn't fluctuate much, which is good. The quiet period sucked, of course. So the financial press was picking at them and they couldn't respond.

The adjustment of the price right before the IPO was a reflection of the price discovery built-in to the auction model. But it was also a reflection of a mis-calculation.

John is giving out disclaimers. This is amusing.

John can see using the auction model for other stuff. But he wants to change the topic. He won't say anything specific about the future of Google--just the obvious stuff. Global, deeper, more ads, personalization. Growth.

John is talking about String Theory now. If you apply it to the web, you can have parallel web. Huh?

The near web (pc), far web (television), here web (cell phones), the weird web (future stuff--intelligent interaction), the B2B web (web services), D2D web (device to device, rfid, smart dust, etc).

Some of John's current investments map into those categories. Friendster, Visible Path, Akimbo (far web), and TellMe (weird web). He won't discuss two others.

All new services will incorporate search.

Many of the Web 1.0 services are being reinvented.

Are Amazon and Google on a collision course? John thinks not. They're partners toady and there's room for lots of 'em. He can't imagine Google driving Yahoo or Microsoft out of business.

What's the next Big Thing? John says clean, distributed energy. Cleaner transportation. Biotech and personalized medicine (at the genetic level).

The hand web is going to be big. Ring tones, tracking, etc. The Internet backbone will speed up with optical switching--he's invested in that.

What about data that's not on the web yet? Sure, that's opportunity there.

Audience Questions

Q: Something about the Web and politics.

A: The policy is what matters. Pay attention to the bills.

Q: Examples of the B2B/XML/RSS companies? (Steve Gillmor)

A: Wiki companies.

Q: Just got back from China. What about companies in China or elsewhere. Investing in any?

A: Web 2.0 will come from global companies or US based companies.

Q: From the EFF, Cory asks about Chinese operation. What's the non-evil case for this?

A: John doesn't have the answer. Censorship in China (unlike Germany) is less about law and more about executive order.

See Also: My Web 2.0 post archive for coverage of all the other sessions I attended.

Posted by jzawodn at October 05, 2004 05:48 PM

Reader Comments
# Adam Trachtenberg said:

Funny. When John said "here Web," I thought he was saying "hear Web."

on October 6, 2004 12:14 AM
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