Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Videos: Three Best Sessions of Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Feisty is often best when it comes to conferences — even when the altitude is making you loopy! Here are, by my estimation, the consensus breakout hit sessions of this week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, which just concluded in Aspen, Colo.

Former Harvard president and White House economic adviser Larry Summers had the line that echoed furthest from Aspen into the outside world: Calling the Facebook-suing Winklevoss twins “assholes” and affirming that the “Social Network” portrayal of him arrogantly dismissing their concerns as Harvard undergrads was accurate. Summers said:

One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an asshole. This was the latter case.

The Winklevii, for their part, publicly protested that the president of a college probably shouldn’t be writing off students for what they wear.

Below is a video of just the Winklevii quote, but if you’re interested in more topical U.S. economy stuff you may want to watch the full thing, which was quite good.

A more unexpected breakout hit was a panel session on mobile payments that had Square’s Keith Rabois with his claws out toward Google’s Stephanie Tilenius and the general premise of near field communications money transfers. Then Verifone’s Doug Bergeron compared Square to a subprime mortgage lender.

Here’s the video:

(Google CFO Patrick Pichette got in another mobile payment quotable during a separate session, saying, “A wallet is a medieval item, right? It’s made of hide.”)

And then lastly, and more broadly, investment banker Frank Quattrone brought today’s technology “bubble” into context with a mix of zingers and stats. He said LinkedIn is the Netscape of this era (beginning of a boom, not end of a bubble), and traced a shift in market caps from older tech giants to emerging ones.

Here’s that session, with video and a full transcript:


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