Thursday, May 17, 2012

OpenWeb 05/18/2012 (a.m.)

  • Very interesting article from WSJ on the eve of the FaceBook IPO.  Karlgaard claims that in Silicon Valley, social networking is last years story.  The innovators have moved on to really important stuff, "big stuff", like transportation, energy, electricity, food production, water delivery, health care and education. Killer quote: In Silicon Valley, investing in social-media companies is already passé. Last year, as private investors were bidding up Facebook's valuation to $100 billion, the veteran Silicon Valley investor Roger McNamee said "the next 500 social-media companies will lose money." He's broadly right. The time to make big returns in Facebook and in social media has passed.......... Karlsgard argues that the future belongs to the algorythm engineers, and the magic they make.  He sights the incredibly rapid development of the Google Car, concluding that "This rate of progress is normal in the algorithmic world, but it is new in the physical world."  Silicon Valley is where the great algorithms engineers put their genius to the test.  It's still where money meets magic, and algorithms get to whip saw reality. first up: Manufacturing and Energy. excerpts: Social media is already passé in Silicon Valley. America's innovation engine is now focused on transportation, energy and manufacturing. In March 1986, Microsoft ended its first day as a public company with a market capitalization of $780 million. Its value grew more than 700 times that over the next 13 years and made Bill Gates, in 1999, the richest man ever with a net worth of $101 billion. When Facebook goes public this Friday its market cap could easily hit $100 billion, bringing founder Mark Zuckerberg's net worth to more than $18 billion. That's about 50 times what Mr. Gates was worth after Microsoft's IPO. Facebook's big payday should be cause for celebration in a liberal democracy. Instead it has provoked two kinds of anxiety. Both imply America's best days are over.

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