An alternate version of my ‘4 Internet giants’ story

The part of tech conferences that’s the most fun is the random conversations and riffing that happens at meals and in other gathering spots.

Last night, I had a story to finish writing but didn’t want to miss Sir Richard Thompson’s guitar gig. So I parked myself at a table with my laptop and typed amid the rocking. Curious about what I was banging away on, a few of those nearby checked out my screen, which led to us swapping notes about the panel I was writing up. You can read my version of the story on CNNMoney

PayPal CTO James Barrese wins the “above and beyond” prize for not just offering me his thoughts on the session’s high points but actually jumping on my laptop to type them up. I’ll note that James is a WAY faster writer than I am — he hammered this out in about 60 seconds. 

So, want a second take on the high points of Techonomy’s panel discussion on the Internet’s four giants (Apple, Amazon, Facebook & Google)? Here’s James’ version:

*Apple needs to keep innovating to maintain is position; Apple needs to maintain high levels of investment.

*Amazon has built up a highly competitive moat with low margins / low pricing that makes it unattractive for investors looking to disrupt it.

*Walmart could be a dark horse.

*Microsoft should be on this list and was left off by Schmidt for obvious reasons.  Xbox is an interesting place in the household.

*Facebook’s management team is unproven over time; it took 10-15 years for Bezos to be confirmed as a genius vs. a crackpot. -Stacy

A 1% vote of support for Occupy Wall Street


Occupy Wall Street began its protest 59 days ago in NYC, with the loose and at the time farfetched goal of maintaining its demonstration for two months. As that mark approaches, here’s yet another sign of how widespread the movement has become: Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee —  who has an MBA and a 30-year career in finance and investing — is wearing an Occupy Wall Street t-shirt today at the Techonomy conference.

Roger isn’t your typical private-equity player; he’s a rock musician whose investment firm focuses on the music-meets-technology market. Bono is a partner at Elevation. Still, it’s pretty mind-bendy to see a rich investor agreeing that the financial system needs to be razed and rebuilt. -Stacy