MediaFile

from Commentaries:

Gut feeling: How Google CEO valued YouTube deal

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, sits for an interview at the Newseum in Washington on Oct. 2, 2009Let the second-guessing, the mock horror, the disbelief, the crowing begin.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has acknowledged he realized upfront that he was overpaying to acquire YouTube, to the tune of $1 billion, judged by any conventional measures.

The many critics of Google's $1.65 billion deal to acquire the video-sharing site three years ago will claim this confirms everything they have always said about the deal. Not quite.

In fact, not really at all.

Schmidt came clean in a deposition by lawyers in the Viacom copyright lawsuit that there was very little revenue coming into YouTube to justify the price his company paid.

No surprises here. There were intangibles to consider:

1. YouTube's popularity was sky-rocketing, making it the runaway market leader among video-sharing sites.
2. It was crushing his company's own site, Google Video.
3. YouTube was up for auction and would be sold to a competitor unless Google jumped first.
4. Google overbid to ensure YouTube didn't fall into rival hands.

The Google CEO said he told his company's board of directors that the 18-month-old video-sharing site was worth $600 million to $700 million, according to CNet, which obtained a transcript of his testimony. Of course, he fails to mention the potential costs of copyright lawsuits that already loomed for YouTube.

from Commentaries:

Twitter backlash foretold

Technology market research firm Gartner Inc has published the 2009 "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies," its effort to chart out what's hot or not at the cutting edge of hi-tech jargon. It's just one of an annual phalanx of reports that handicap some 1,650 technologies or trends in 79 different categories for how likely the terms are to make it into mainstream corporate parlance.

Jackie Fenn, the report's lead analyst and author of the 2008 book "Mastering the Hype Cycle," delivers the main verdict:

Technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2009 include cloud computing, e-books (such as from Amazon and Sony) and internet TV (for example, Hulu), while social software and microblogging sites (such as Twitter) have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among corporate users.

The Web 3.0 Echo Chamber

There’s not much news coming out of D7, the Internet executive chat fest, other than that Yahoo’s new CEO is willing to accept “boatloads of money” to sell the company’s Web search business, if Microsoft were willing to pay. They are still talking, sort of. But that is so-o-o last’s year’s story. Move on.

Confererence organizers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg are looking to stir up a debate by declaring that the Web 2.0 era of the internet is over and Web 3.0 is underway.  

We think something major is happening at the intersection of tech and media, and we think it deserves its own new hyped-up name: Web 3.0.

Google coins new mantra amid Twitter Talk

Google famously made “don’t be evil” its official mantra a few years ago.

But a new, 7-word phrase may well end up Google’s most-used, unofficial slogan, as company officials take turns repeating “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation” in response to reports that Google is in talks to buy microblogging startup Twitter.

The topic inevitably came up at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday morning, where Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra was on stage for a keynote presentation.

Gundotra, who oversees Google’s mobile applications, said he was a big fan of Twitter, which lets people broadcast 140-character text messages to a network of friends. He also confessed that he was enjoying the online debate/blog-battle about whether his company was preparing to acquire Twitter.

Zuckerberg, edition Web 2.0

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have traded in his Adidas flip-flops for tennis shoes, but he was as coy as ever when it came to talking about the social network.  On stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, host John Batelle asked Zuckerberg about Dubai, referring to rumors that Facebook CFO Gideon Yu was in the Middle East seeking financing from the sheikhs.

“I’ve never been to Dubai,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m told it’s nice at this time of the year.”

Never one to give up easily, Batelle dug deeper: “Gideon must have told you that.”