Today at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins unveiled a new $250 million fund for investing in social applications, called “sFund”. Joining Kleiner Perkins in this venture are some Internet heavyweights: Facebook, Zynga, and Amazon. And CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Pincus, and Jeff Bezos took the stage today to talk a bit about the future of social.
Of them, it was Pincus who probably had the most interesting thing to say. “In five years, everybody will always be connected to each other, instead of the web,” he noted. He said that he often thinks of today’s social companies as “dial tones”. That is, they’re merely entry points for these social connections.
He noted that Facebook is the big overall dial tone for this social experience. But also singled out others as sub-dial tones, Pandora, for example, is the music dial tone, he said. He also said he hopes that his company, Zynga, will be the gaming dial tone.
He expressed excitement in the fact that while right now, many of these companies are still working on building out the infrastructure for this social experience, in five years, all this plumbing, as it were, will be in place. Then the real fun can begin.
The others on stage echoed this sentiment, suggesting that today is about laying the groundwork for something much greater to come. Zuckerberg noted the importance of Facebook’s Platform and the partnerships they have to make with companies who are doing great social things that they can’t or won’t do. Bezos talked about Amazon’s Web Services, and how vital they already are to many of these services. And he said that things are growing, quickly.
Obviously, this $250 million sFund speaks to the laying of a foundation for something greater.
Weighing in at 150 lbs, is Mark Pincus, frenetic visionary of Zynga. His DNA is one strand entrepreneur and one strand competitive gamer. Mark founded Tribe.net, one of the first social networks in 2003. Prior to Tribe, he was the founder and CEO of SupportSoft. Prior to SupportSoft, Mark co-founded Freeloader, the first consumer push information service.
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook, which he started in his college dorm room in 2004 with roomates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Zuckerberg is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. He leads the design of Facebook’s service and development of its core technology and infrastructure. Mark studied computer science at Harvard University before moving the company to Palo Alto, California. Earlier in life, Zuckerberg developed a music recommendation system called...
Jeffrey Preston Bezos, originally of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Amazon.com. Bezos graduated from Princeton University Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to founding Amazon in 1994, he worked as a financial analyst for D. E. Shaw & Co. Time magazine named Bezos the Person of the Year in 1999.