Tech Ticker Interview With Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners
Sarah Lacy over at Tech Ticker conducted a great interview with Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners and have put a nice video clip on the Tech Ticker website.
So we know that Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners invested 20 percent of his private equity fund in Palm. Sarah starts the interview right off by asking McNamee if the Palm Pre had been in development the whole time he'd been investing in Palm. McNamee answered that yes, it had been in development the whole time, and that the Pre is what the investment had been about. Seems that Ed Colligan had called up McNamee after the BlackBerry Pearl came out, and told him that Palm wasn't in the right place but that they'd just began developing a new operating system, but they didn't have the right team and weren't focused around consumer electronics. Colligan wanted to know if Elevation Partners was interested.
Elevation Partners was interested and they talked to Jon Rubenstein who had worked with McNamee's partner Fred Anderson. McNamee figured that if Jon Rubinstein, the guy who had turned Apple around, didn't think it could be done, they weren't going to do it. But Rubinstein looked at the new platform and was impressed. He had said that it was going to be the next big thing. He also said that they were going to "change the nature of computing and really change the nature of technology over a period of time around mobile devices". McNamee noted that the Palm Pre was just the first product to come that will run on WebOS.
McNamee seems to be a very interesting and intelligent guy, and I enjoyed getting to hear him speak about the Palm Pre. He wears what he refers to as his Batman "Utility Belt" and says that he has one of every smartphone on his belt. That is just sooo cool! He started pulling the smartphones off his belt and he removed a Centro, Treo Pro, two iPhones, a BlackBerry, and a Google Android. I was surprised when McNamee said that the G1 has the best web experience. He bragged on the iPhone for its iTunes and bragged on BlackBerry for its corporate email. I liked what McNamee said last in the interview:
"To us, this is the beginning of a new wave. These guys (meaning the iPhone, Android, Blackberry) are totally capable of getting there; our goal is to make them chase us."