What I am going to say is obvious. If you love technology the Bay Area, aka Silicon Valley and aka San Francisco and its surrounding areas, is the place to be. But what follows is an illustration of the obvious, namely what I can accomplish when, instead of working out of my office in Madrid, I am here in Silicon Valley. I write this post at 4:09pm and this is what I did since 7:45am this morning including my meetings with Meg Whitman, Chad Hurley and Blake Krikorian.
After the Sequoia meeting, Joanna Rees, our chief fonera in the USA, Juergen, our chief fonero, and I went to see Meg Whitman at eBay. While eBay are our investors at FON we had never visited their headquarters. I had ran into Meg Whitman a week before at a conference and we had arranged for me to come over and present FON to a few managers. Well it turns out that Meg did a great job running the troops cause many managers showed up and she did a very kind presentation of FON to them and then allowed me to present FON to everyone. Now before I go on I have to make a parenthesis here abou Meg. Meg can be defined in 2 words “just great”. And don´t think I am sucking up to my partners, I am not. I am simply telling the truth. If she is not the best CEO I have ever dealt with in my life she is way up there together with Michael Dell, who is another man with whom I had the luck of spending a few hours cycling and talking with last week and who also shares a remarkable ability to combine focus with innovation. So after presenting to the eBay, PayPal and Skype executives I moved on to see a completely different company for a meeting with Chad Hurley at Youtube going from San Jose to San Mateo (love those Spanish names, we rule!)
Now if Meg is the best CEO in the world Chad is simplest the “coolest dude” CEO in the world. I don´t know how old he is but I would bet he has not turned 30 yet. He has long blond hair, sharp blue eyes and his overall look seems to be that of a kid whose Superman cape actually did work and he IS flying, and he IS soo excited and yet, somehow, as you can expect…a little scared (is this shit going to keep on working?). Now basically I did not go to Youtube to do a deal as I have no clue of what a Fon Youtube deal could look like but I went there to brainstorm with Chad and his team, to share what we are doing with the FON Liberator (the FON social router that doubles up as an uploader/downloader freeing up your laptop from this nuisance) and see if something came up. And regardless of whether something comes up or not I can say that I am just an enormous FAN of what Youtube is doing. My advise to them? Quickly have Youtube in Spanish, Mandarin, German, French. Now some of my readers may remember that I invested in www.vpod.tv and that could be somewhat competitive of Youtube and I hope that Vpod does super well but I think that Vpod will probably be more feature rich, more design and Youtube will be the massive uploading product that we all know it to be. I am also partners with Google and Google has Google Video but somehow I don´t worry about conflict of interest as what I know that can be told I blog about and what can´t be told I don´t blog it and don´t share it with others. I just like cool developments and at that level Youtube rules.
After Youtube I went to see my new buddy Blake from Sling Media. Do you own a Sling Box? If you love TV and you don´t you can order one here and keep reading. Now I hope that Blake does not get jelous here cause after I called Meg the best CEO in the world and Chad the “coolest dude” CEO in the world what am I going to call Blake that can live up to that standard? Well what I can say about Blake is that he is a top hands on CEO who knows every aspect of his company in detail who jumps from technology to finance, to marketing and above all, who has FUN doing what he is doing. Chad has fun to but he is still tense flying up there with his Superdude cape that actually worked, Blake is more down to earth, relaxed, has seen successes and failures, he´s older, more experienced, more at ease. What could FON and Slingmedia do together? I think a lot. Our basic propositions are similar. At FON we say pay for bandwidth at home and roam the world for free. At Slingmedia they say, pay for Cable TV at home and enjoy it through the internet anywhere in the world. Pretty similar proposals I would say. So we are in conversations and we will see where they go but I would love to get Blake to make the Sling Box FON Friendly.
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