Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive Video: Bill Gross Talks About TweetUp and Gives a Tour of Idealab

Bill Gross is widely considered the man responsible for the invention of paid search advertising, which heralded such Web powerhouses as Google (GOOG).

Now, in a can-lightning-strike-twice effort and armed with $3.5 million in venture funding from a group of leading investors, the well-known entrepreneur has decided to monetize Twitter on his own.

Thus, Gross has just launched a public beta of TweetUp, a keyword-based bidding marketplace akin to the innovative Overture/Goto.com he created a decade ago.

Gross will be the CEO of TweetUp, which will also offer an organic search service to surface the best tweets from the microblogging site.

Coincidentally, Twitter is now aggressively moving to take over key parts of its ecosystem, which has largely been left to third-party developers. It is also expected to announce some kind of advertising system of its own this week.

Tweet fight, anyone?

Here are two video interviews I did with Gross last week at his Idealab offices in Pasadena, Calif. The first is an interview about TweetUp and the second, below it, a tour of the well-known incubator where he came up with his latest scheme:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work