John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google's Mission: To Organize the World's Start-Ups and Make Them Universally Acquirable

google_giant_robotSequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz often says that the best time to invest is when people are cowering under their desks. Google appears to have taken that message to heart because it’s launching a new venture fund at a time when the VC industry is busy practicing its duck-for-cover exercises. Monday night, the search sovereign announced the creation of Google Ventures, a fund that over the next year will invest $100 million in “exceptional” start-ups. A vague category, but one quite in keeping with Google’s We-Are-The-Champions worldview.

“We’ll be focusing on early stage investments across a diverse range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, clean-tech, bio-tech, health care and, no doubt, other areas we haven’t thought of yet,” Managing Partners Rich Miner and Bill Maris explained in a blog post. “Central to our effort will be our fellow Googlers, whom we view as a critically important resource to help educate us about potential investments areas and evaluate specific companies.”

Presumably, then, the scope of the fund’s investments will be as diverse and, ahem, fascinating as the whims of Google’s leadership. Which isn’t always a good thing. That said, Google Ventures may do much to help the company innovate itself out of this downturn and perhaps even spot and engulf the next Google (GOOG) killer before it has a chance to live up to its namesake. As Google Ventures explains in its FAQ, it’s not above engulfing a company it’s incubated. “Acquisitions by Google of portfolio companies are possible, but this is not the goal or focus of our investment activities. Our focus is building great companies and generating long term financial return.”

Obviously. But for Google, right?

[Image Credit: Ignorance Is Futile!]


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik