Ah, it’s Friday. Travel day for me, left Laguna and Safa’s excellent conference this morning. Over the three days we heard from an interesting mix of international CEOs (Tom Online, Hurray!!, Daum), and a lot of search/ecommerce (Marchex, WebSideStory, Overstock, Indeed). Safa did not do the typical investor conference, where CEOs just present company Powerpoints, he really drew folks out into conversations. I enjoyed it a lot. The highlight for me was last night, when I joined a panel with Steve Jurvetson and Jerry Yang, quite an honor. Jurvetson invested in Baidu, HotMail, Skype, and many, many other successful companies, and it was fun to hear his thoughts on Yahoo, MSFT, Google et al. Jerry was his usual understated self. Over and over he said “We can’t presume (insert competitor here) will stumble, we have to assume they will succeed.” He said he keeps working because the thinks the competition is getting really strong, and he wants to continue to help guide Yahoo through this phase of the battle.
Steve pointed out that it was going to one hell of a battle, that in fact MSFT was girding for a company wide holy war, one that he thinks they must win. Now it gets interesting….
A company that was much discussed during the week was MySpace, which is owned by Intermix Media. The CEO presented there, and the stock shot up during the week. That might have something to do with the fact that the company settled (without admitting wrongdoing) an adware/spyware case based on practices it claims it has since abandoned, but also, there were an awful lot of investors in that conference room, and on the second night Safa had a really interesting and entertaining panel of teenagers who told us how they use media (I asked him if we could steal the idea for Web 2.0, and he gave his consent….). All of them used MySpace, it was pretty much a clean sweep. None of them used anything else for social networking and the like. I think the investors were taking notes….it felt like ICQ all over again.