DST's Yuri Milner: "This is the era of mathematicians … It's not about social networking"

Yuri Milner, CEO of Russian venture investors Digital Sky Technologies, gave a fascinating interview today at the Monaco Media Forum. Given that DST powered the IPO of Mail.ru recently – the bigest IPO of a European internet company ever – he’s become an even more important and powerful figure, even not counting DST’s early investment in Facebook and Zynga.

In fascinating interview on stage with Journalist and entrepreneur Michael Wolff, he dropped a number of choice words to the assembled invite-only audience. Wolff called him the “the Oligarch of Geeks.”

Here are a few highlights.

• “Our business model at DST is not joining boards. You see less of us.”

• He thinks that technologies like Facebook’s will eventually be better at choosing your friends than yourself.

• “There is huge demand for artificial intelligence technologies” and this has far-reaching implications.

• “This is the era of mathematicians” … It’s not about social networking – its about math.”

• “You have to travel globally today to know what’s going on and maintain an edge”

• “I am not an oligarch, I am a servant and I try to align my interests and those of my investors.”

• “Facebook is a platform inside a platform”.

• “Several investors from BRIC countries will make big bets on US tech innovations in the next few years”

• Parts of The Social Network film could “ring true”.

• He said he agrees with Mark Zuckerberg that “Every single business model will be disrupted by social media”

• He thinks there is an ‘unprecedented’ time coming when US internet players dominate globally “to an extent never seen before”

Photo by Rodrigo Sepulveda