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    - Venture Capitalist @ GGV Capital
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Bill Gates Annual Letter

Just read Bill Gates’ annual letter for the Gates Foundation.  I had the pleasure of hearing him talk in a “fireside” format with 150 other people at last year’s Techonomy conference, and it was pretty amazing.  He is brilliant, funny and engaging.  Plus, he’s passionate about making a real difference in the world with his billions of $ – not just passing it on to his kids.  Read the letter – it’s pretty cool.

Welcome to the BlueKai Team, TrackSimple!

Had a chance to spend some time with Jon, Ajit and the TrackSimple team yesterday at BlueKai’s annual meeting in San Jose.  Really fired up to have you guys on board!!!  See the TechCrunch article about the deal: “BlueKai Buys Ad Data Analytics and Optimization Startup TrackSimple”

Buddy Media on CNBC’s “Tomorrow’s Tech Titans”

Great to see CNBC covering Mike and Buddy Media today

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Building a Great Culture @ Appirio

I spoke this week at Appirio’s Annual Meeting – 200 people from around the world came to Napa for 5 great days of hard work and a little fun.  Spend time with these guys and it’s no wonder they were named one of the top 10 places to work in the Bay Area in 2010!  And yes, Appirio is hiring

Congratulations to TechCrunch Crunchie Winners Pandora and Buddy Media

Congratulations to GGV portfolio companies Pandora and Buddy Media for winning their respective categories at the annual TechCrunch Crunchie Awards!  Pandora won for Best Internet application, and Buddy won for Best Enterprise.

Congratulations to BlueKai for Being Named AlwaysOn B2B Media Company of the Year!

Congrats to the team at BlueKai for being named B2B Media Company of the year by the folks at AlwaysOn.  While I am a bit biased (BlueKai is a GGV portfolio company and I sit on the board), I can tell you these guys are great entrepreneurs, work extremely hard, and are leading the charge in a whole new category of Internet marketing.   Well deserved recognition!

What Was Silicon Valley Like After the Bubble Burst?

That’s the question posed on Quora, pretty good answer by attorney Antone Johnson.  It’s actually pretty hard to describe to people who were not in SV at the time – the emotional, financial, etc. fallout was amazing.  He does a pretty good job of highlighting where some of the collateral damage occurred across the Bay Area and beyond.

Disruption on Madison Avenue

Good article in FastCompany recently about how the Internet is completely disrupting Madison Avenue and the traditional advertising business. 

“The Future of Advertising”

Great Interview with Tim W from Pandora on CNBC @ CES

As mentioned in my post on CES, Pandora was “everywhere” at CES. Great interview with founder Tim Westergren on CNBC.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

CES Recap

Polled the team at GGV for thoughts and insights from CES – below are a few of our team’s thoughts/summaries of the show.

My personal view. I’ve been going to CES for many years now.  From my perspective, this year’s was the most disappointing.  Yes, there were some cool new tv’s, and lots of tablets, and lots of cool gadgets and attachments to Apple stuff (a lot, in fact) – but there was nothing that made you go “wow!”  OK, maybe the Audi R8 Etron – an all-electric version of the R8 – which was pretty damn cool (check out the Wired video here).  In fact, with all of the announcements about Internet-connected cars (including lots of cool stuff from GGV portfolio company Pandora), one could argue that was the highlight.   Other than that, I wasn’t blown away.

Tablets were clearly “the big thing” this year.  One of my favorite quotes of the week: Friend of mine to rep at Motorola holding the new Moto tablet (Xoom) – “So…what’s the difference between this and the iPad?”  Moto rep responds “You’re the 651st person who’s asked me that today.”  To be fair, the Xoom does have some cool new features, is going to run on Android Honeycomb, and was named “Best Gadget” at CES.  However, one could not help feeling like many of the tablets at CES are a day late and a dollar short – that’s the best we can come up with 9 months after the iPad launched?

Glenn Solomon’s take.  One interesting observation – even though Apple isn’t present at the show, nearly half of all the exhibitors I saw were displaying direct or indirect linkages to Apple products.  Android was also quite prevalent.  It’s really amazing how much of the consumer electronics ecosystem is now ultimately controlled by these two forces.  And there are many companies whose market power is dwindling or gone – Sony, Motorola, RIM, etc.  Also, perhaps riding the Kinect wave, I saw a fair bit of 3-D and augmented reality.   This trend seems to be gaining a lot of steam.

Adam Altman’s take.  1) Lots of tablets, Samsung Galaxy appears to be only real competitor, we’re likely to see hundreds of Chinese knockoffs flood the market and bring down prices, 2) lots of wireless charging technology – why do I need it?, 3) TV’s are maxing out on core features, 3D still a big push but not clear consumers are biting, 4) on 3D TV’s, most manufacturers are pushing the active shutter glasses – an even harder bite for consumers when they’re $150 a pop.

Scott Bonham’s take.  Energy level was higher this year than last year.  Lots of cool but unnecessary gizmo’s flying off the shelves – see $500 ski goggles with GPS.

Kevin Chen’s take.  1) Everybody has a tablet design, and the hardware / operating systems are already commoditized and easy to do.  However, most except Apple do not know how they want to position their offering.  Say what you want about Cisco’s tab, at least they know where they want to go with it.  Everybody just seems lost, which might favor the mass suppliers such as Nvidia and Marvell.  Commoditization of tablets will be here soon, and I’m wondering if the tablet era will be just as short as the Netbook era.  2) I guess related to the point above, it is scary how many random Chinese and Korean companies Adam and I have never heard of that have these huge booths with full product lines.  The future is looking more crowded than ever for established American and European companies.

Hany Nada’s take.  For the fourth year in a row – didn’t see anything that was BREAKTHROUGH.  Dual screen laptops seemed to be a rising trend.  The Acer Iconia featuring Microsoft was cool.

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