News.com has an interview with “the grandfather of Silicon Valley venture capital” – Don Valentine, who founded Sequoia Capital in 1972. Some excerpts:
I think the first phase of the Internet is established. We think of it here as the Internet, phase two.
To us, [phase two is] merely the reality phase of something that happens that’s overhyped, like nanotech. Now we’re really into solid applications, problem solving and business. Look at how much advertising is moving to the Web portals. It’s a reconstitution of the way Madison Avenue is thinking about where to place ads.
The biggest thing that is making the Internet and all those things more interesting is broadband. It makes the Internet an even more powerful platform in which to buy and sell things–as a media platform and a market. To me it’s an issue of patience. (Cisco CEO) John Chambers was talking recently about broadband and indicated that the U.S. is 15th in the world at implementing it.
If you look at the personal-computing industry, only a fraction of the world has participated in this arena. I think it’s a huge, huge unit market. Companies like Dell, Microsoft and Intel–they’re the primary members of that environment. It’s an unfortunate situation that only Intel and Microsoft really make money. The rest, with Dell as an exception, don’t make any money. I think the challenge for Intel and Microsoft is to find some other platform in which to grow, other than the personal computer.