Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Lessons Learned, Future Predicted

Who doesn't want to know the future? But I sort of expect that Marc Andressen and Dan Rosensweig are more likely to have useful comments on the first half of this panel's topic.

Marc predicts that Microsoft will come back and attack Firefox and Opera and the other browsers that are emerging with a revitalized IE strategy and one that "screws with people's business models, leveraging the monopoly that they control..."

Dan believes that Yahoo's direction is to become more and more open. He does believe that there are things that can be done with a client application and pointed out that Yahoo already has a number of rich clients, including a browser.


Marc observes that we live in a world where software is more and more open - this is not the world of web 1.0 where the experience is a walled garden, but he believes that data is the new walled garden -- data lock in. You can't get your reputation out of eBay, for example -- "the plantation owner - sharecropper relationship"

Dan agrees that data is absolutely essential. But Dan thinks the walled garden of data leaves companies vulnerable -- if you lock up data, you just create a world in which companies and people are all trying to extract that data. So if you build your business on the premise of controlling that data, your business will unravel. So the important thing is to create a compelling user experience around data. That user experience will provide a lasting business model.


Marc -- Google is being lead willingly and unwillingly by press, wall street, users, into a direct confrontation with Microsoft. And I've seen this before. (Dan - how did it turn out? (Marc - you're going to find out!). They are being lead because everyone is spoiling for a fight. The result of that is that you have Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer on stage taking it personally and saying we will have to kill Google. It will be very interesting to see and it is still very unclear how it will line up. Google on your browser is one way, but there are other ways that they can screw with Microsoft's business model. (John Battelle (moderating) - but John Doer said that Google isn't going to do a browser -- Marc - the day that Google listens to John Doer is the day that they don't do a dutch auction...)

Dan -- Yahoo focuses on the user. What is the long term value for users. Long term value for users creates long term value for investors and employees. Its important not to get caught up in the issue of the moment and to stay focused on that long term value. "At the end of the day we are all going to end up surrendering to what the user wants to do."

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