Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Silicon Valley Entrepreneur (and Google Exec) Joe Kraus Moves to Google Ventures


Joe Kraus–the longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur who sold his most recent start-up, JotSpot, to Google in 2006 and has been a director of product management since–has moved to its Google Ventures unit as a partner, said several sources.

Sources added that Kraus (pictured above) is likely to be the first of several well-known appointments at the relatively new venture arm of the search giant.

Google (GOOG) announced its VC play in March and said the fund will invest $100 million in “exceptional” start-ups over the next year.

“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 when Google Ventures debuted. “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.”

Well, that now apparently means Kraus, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded the Web 1.0-era Excite portal and, in Web 2.0, JotSpot, which made wiki-style software for online collaboration.

Currently, only Miner and Maris are listed on the bios page of Google Venture’s online site.

Since the acquisition, Kraus has been leading Google’s OpenSocial efforts to develop standards for social networking platforms.

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.

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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