Ina Fried

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Elevation Partners’ Roger McNamee Slams Android, Microsoft and Yahoo in One Fell Scoop

Venture capitalist Roger McNamee took on a number of the big tech companies on Wednesday, arguing that most of Silicon Valley’s giants are failing to innovate.


“I am really frustrated when I look at Microsoft or Yahoo or even Google, remarkably enough, because it feels to me they are not trying to innovate,” the Elevation Partners executive told Bloomberg TV.

Digging specifically at Android, McNamee said that it is akin to “having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500.”

“I watch what they have done with Android and I’m flabbergasted because their market share in units is so high but look at the profit share,” McNamee said. “Apple’s profit share is 75 or 80 percent because Android has been managed essentially to make it a profitless prosperity. Right now, if Google is not careful, Android will be Samsung or Samsung will be Android.”

Twitter, meanwhile, is “a truly genius product where, for whatever reason, they have always been at least a couple cans short of a six-pack in terms of execution.”

He also goes after the U.S. patent system, which he argues is past its sell-by date.

Only Apple really gets credit from McNamee, who calls it “this close to perfect.”

Of course, McNamee is also the one who once got in trouble predicting Palm was going to eat Apple’s lunch.

Nonetheless, the interview is more than worth a watch.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald