Brian Pokorny, who recently rejoined SV Angel as a general partner, weighed in this afternoon on the future of a number of high-profile companies — Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo.
Pokorny was interviewed at Disrupt NY, where he was joined onstage by his partners David Lee and Ron Conway. When TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington asked them how they felt about Facebook and whether it was going to “pull a Myspace,” Conway and Lee deferred to Pokorny as the youngest of the three of them.
In response, he acknowledged that a lot of the fun social behavior from younger users like high schoolers may have moved elsewhere: “New mobile social apps like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, things like that are where those behaviors are persisting.” Not that he thinks that means Facebook is in trouble, because it has become something we all use and depend on.
“It’s a utility,” Pokorny said. “It’s not going anywhere.”
He also said that Facebook won’t suffer Myspace’s fate. Myspace failed due to a lack of product innovation, while Facebook continues to innovate.
“Plus, Myspace didn’t have identity,” Conway said, later adding, “Facebook did it right when it authenticated people’s identity.”
Arrington then asked about Twitter, and Pokorny said, “It’s becoming the place you go to look for real-time information. It’s just going to grow and grow and grow in its importance.”
The last company they discussed was Yahoo. Arrington said that he spoke to CEO Marissa Mayer backstage at Disrupt and she showed him a cool mobile app, but his response was, “Okay, what else you got?” So he wondered: Is there really a chance to turn Yahoo around? Lee said the answer is yes, pointing specifically to Mayer’s experience as a computer scientist and background at Google, which should help her attract good engineers.
“There aren’t many precedents [for a turnaround] but there are a few,” Lee said. “But I do think it starts with the talent.”
The SV Angel partners also discussed the state of startup innovation, which we covered in a separate post.