Keen On… Peter Bell: Yes, Silicon Valley is a Natural Meritocracy (TCTV)

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.