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Web2 Conversations: Elon Musk

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Elon

On the third day of Web 2 next week, I’ll be sitting down with Elon Musk. Now, depending on your age and level of interest, Elon is either A) a co-founder of PayPal, b) founder of SpaceX, c) the guy behind Tesla, d) the guy behind Solar City, or e) the guy behind all four.

Elon is truly a “Web Meets World” kind of guy (and yes, that’s the theme of Web 2 this year).

He’s bringing his Tesla to the event, and participating in our auction to boot. I’m looking forward to what I am sure will be an eclectic conversation, in particular given that later in the day I’ll be talking with Shai Agassi, who has something of a competing auto startup going in Better Place.

TeslaAnd remember that I’m running a contest for best comments: I’ve decided to take three of my personal complementary passes to Web 2 – yes, even the Program Chair only gets so many – and give them to those who comment on my site about these Web 2 conversations. My decisions are entirely subjective, but I plan to pick the three best questions, and reward them with a fress pass – a street value of nearly $4000 each. Yes, commentators from the past five posts are already eligible:

Mark Zuckerberg

Jerry Yang

Larry Brilliant

Paul Otellini

Lance Armstrong

So, what should I ask Elon Musk?

Web2 Conversations: Lance Armstrong

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Lance

Next up in our ongoing tour of conversations at Web 2 next week is Lance Armstrong, the seven time winner of the Tour de France, who recently announced his “de-reitrement” and is going for an eighth win. This appearance, a dinner conversation on day one, is one of Lance’s only public appearances since he announced his comeback. He’s also an internet entrepreneur, having launched Livestrong.com, a health site, earlier this summer.

This should be quite a unique opportunity to talk to one of the world’s most extraordinary people. Remember my new contest: I’ve decided to take three of my personal complementary passes to Web 2 – yes, even the Program Chair only gets so many – and give them to those who comment on my site about these Web 2 conversations. My decisions are entirely subjective, but I plan to pick the three best questions, and reward them with a fress pass – a street value of nearly $4000 each. Yes, commentators from the past four posts are already eligible:

Mark Zuckerberg

Jerry Yang

Larry Brilliant

Paul Otellini

So…what should I ask Lance Armstrong?

I am not an Investor

By - October 27, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

But if I were (Ok, yes, folks invest in funds on my behalf, have since 1998), I’d say, invest in entertainment. Because folks are looking for escape. Big time. (PS – I saw that tiny dog film. It was simply awful. But, yes, I saw it. I have daughters, after all.)

Yes, But Now That He's At Microsoft, Can He Keep Giving It Away For Free?

By - October 26, 2008

Wiiremote

Great piece in the Times on a fellow who made his name hacking the wii remote and talking about it on YouTube. Now he’s at Microsoft, after being wooed by nearly everyone.

Contrast this with what might have followed from other options Mr. Lee considered for communicating his ideas. He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.

Small wonder, then, that he maintains that posting to YouTube has been an essential part of his success as an inventor. “Sharing an idea the right way is just as important as doing the work itself,” he says. “If you create something but nobody knows, it’s as if it never happened.”

But it made me wonder if he’s going to be happy there. A very long time ago, I read a ton of search papers (as part of prep for the book) and noticed they were all pretty old, and that once academics got hired by Google or competitors to Google, they sort of stopped innovating out loud.

Just a thought.

Web 2 Conversations: Paul Otellini – and a New Contest!!!!

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Otellini

As you all know by now, I’m asking for your help in preparing to interview folks on stage for Web 2 next week. Your responses have been inspiring, and I am compiling them all into documents I use during the interview process. Previous Web 2 Conversation posts:

Mark Zuckerberg

Jerry Yang

Larry Brilliant

Next up is Paul Otellini, the CEO of Intel Corp. Intel is arguably the most influential technology company in the world. There are so many things to talk to Paul about, I really don’t know where to start. So I’ll start by asking you – what do you want to hear from Paul?

To spur you all along, and to thank you for all the work you’ve helped me to so so far, I’ve decided to take three of my personal complementary passes to Web 2 – yes, even the Program Chair only gets so many – and give them to those who comment on my site about these Web 2 conversations. My decisions are entirely subjective, but I plan to pick the three best questions, and reward them with a fress pass – a street value of nearly $4000 each. Yes, commentators from the past three posts are already eligible…

Thanks for helping me out! Now keep helping me (grin!).

Web2 Conversations: Larry Brilliant

By - October 23, 2008

Larry Brill

Larry Brilliant, the Executive Director of Google.org, is the face and mind behind Google’s philanthropic entity. Here’s a snip from his bio:

Larry is an M.D. and M.P.H., board-certified in preventive medicine and public health. He is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, which works in dozens of countries around the world, primarily to eliminate preventable and curable blindness. He serves as a member of the strategic advisory committee for Kleiner Perkins (KPCB) Venture Capital and also sits on the boards of The Skoll Foundation, Health Metrics Network, Omidyar Networks Humanity United, and InSTEDD, an organization bringing technological tools to improve disaster response.

In addition to his medical career, Larry co-founded The Well, a pioneering virtual community, with Stewart Brand in 1985. He also holds a telecommunications technology patent and has served as CEO of two public companies and other venture-backed start-ups.

Talk about web meets world!

Google.org has already invested in scores of projects and companies (a full list is here). It’s a varied, impressive, and extremely ambitious list that includes goals like finding renewable energy that costs less than coal, changing the face of global health care, developing country IT infrastructure and entrepreneurs, and much ore.

I am kicking off Web 2 by interviewing Larry. So what you you ask him?