Placing Your Bets: Where Will the Smart Money Land?

author: Robert Metcalfe, Polaris Venture Partners
author: Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
author: Guy Kawasaki
published: Sept. 3, 2013,   recorded: June 2004,   views: 1984

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In this freewheeling conversation, three veterans of the IT and venture capital worlds describe the current state of technology investing, and make a stab at predicting the next hot markets. Ann Winblad points to wireless as a sector that is breaking open and offering “lots of important, small problems to solve.” New companies will emerge as customers demand solutions to security and network management. Guy Kawasaki says the “sale of digital content is another hot area.” When someone wants to glimpse a piece of video on a site like CNN, “They say you have to pay 9.95 a month—when all you want is to take a sip.” Metcalfe raises the possibility that “all information will be stored forever,” creating an opportunity for businesses to manage content in new ways. He also worries that “we’ll be buried by longitudes and latitudes from all the global positioning satellites.” Winblad agrees that we now have “the ability to track anything or anyone, anytime, anywhere, and to remain connected to a network.” However, there aren’t enough innovative companies devising ways for consumers to use these new tracking technologies, she says. The group debates whether investing in hardware, particularly routers, will prove profitable. Software-enabled improvements in switching and routing might be the better risk, says Winblad.

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