Greetings from Day 2 of Buyouts West, here at the Fairmont in San Francisco. I’m spending most of the day on stage, but felt like doing some live-blogging while still sitting in the back of the room:
* First up is VCJ editor Larry Aragon interviewing Barry Schuler, former CEO of AOL who now runs the growth equity practice at Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
* We will have audio of today’s sessions available later today or tomorrow.
* Talking about how he used to introduce ecommerce to consumer product makers, and how they’d never allow their products to be displayed on a page next to their competitor’s products — particularly if it lists the prices…
* Talking Facebook. Says DFJ recently called to suggest a valuation of $2 billion or so, when they heard the company was in search of new cash. Needless to say, they didn’t get the deal. Also notes that Facebook was, indeed, looking to generate some founder liquidity.
* Says “bigger is not better” when it comes to companies, and believes that big media companies need to get broken up. Not from an antitrust perspective, but from an effective operations perspective. One of the many AOL-Time Warner lessons (disclaimer: I work for a company that is nearing the end of an $18 billion merger w/ Reuters).
* Calls Glam an “explosively growing brand” that might cause old media companies to “lose their assets.”
* Schuler is an investor and co-producer of an upcoming film called Look, which was shot 100% digital. Do he and Todd Dagres have a bet on Look box office compared to Pretty Persuasion box office.
* He’s talked a lot about on-demand entertainment, and the merging of television/Internet/telephony. Reminds me of a recent speech by the CEO of Domino’s Pizza, where he joked that the goal was for someone to see a Domino’s ad, order the pizza and receive the delivery without ever having to pick up the phone or leave the couch.
* Talking about opportunity in the digital content infrastructure space, particularly in terms of reducing the video “size” load on a website. Doesn’t sound like he’s talking about hosting solutions (Brightcove, etc.), but more about actually taking off a few pounds.
* “Silicon Valley people think technology will take care of everything, but editors and editorial voices will still be needed.” Phew…
* Two-minute warning, which means I need to put down the laptop and get on stage. Be back later this morning (or this afternoon, if you’re on the East Coast)….
* Back after a few hours off, but no more live-blogging the conference (tear shed). Been caught in various conversations following Great Debates, and have to prep for the event’s final panel, which I’m moderating. Topic will be “Where do we go from here.” So no more talk about what happened in July and August, unless we’re talking about next July and August. Probably do some additional blog po sting later in the day, but of a different variety. Thanks for reading…