I couldn’t resist it. When I bumped into Highland Capital General Partner Peter Bell at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored event last week, I had to slip in a question about the equality of opportunity in Silicon Valley. Bell, who is based in Menlo Park, didn’t shy away from this tricky issue. “Totally,” he replied, Silicon Valley is a “natural meritocracy.”
Unlike many more buttoned-down VCs, Bell was refreshingly frank in all his opinions. Describing Facebook as a “juggernaut,” he believes it is “unstoppable in the short-term”. He sees Google as being “behind” on social media and argued that it needs to “innovate” to become a real player in the social space. And while acknowledging that he sees a “lot of crap” in the social space, he is optimistic about social applications in the enterprise, arguing that we are still in spring training when it comes to opportunities here.
This is the fourth interview in this week’s series from Innovation Uncensored. Check out yesterday’s interview with Virgin America CEO David Cush. And check back tomorrow for my colorful exchange with Startup America Partnership CEO Scott Case.
Peter is a General Partner at Highland specializing in technology investments across all stages of company growth. As an industry veteran, Peter has worked with and invested in companies in the information security, e-commerce, data center infrastructure, enterprise software and communications industries. Peter represents Highland on the boards of Desktone, ExaGrid Systems, Ocarina Networks, SCVNGR, Virtual Computer, XORP and is actively involved in Highland’s investment in NetentSec, Inc. Background Before joining Highland Capital Partners, Peter was Managing Director and founder of...