Bloomberg Grills Roger McNamee

McNamme in Concert with MoonAlice In case you missed it over the weekend, Bloomberg recently interviewed Elevation Partners co-founder (and Palm Director) Roger McNamee on the day of the Palm Pre's UK debut, delving into the usual range of topics that are covered whenever the sometimes over-enthusiastic investor rears his head: what makes Palm a good investment, how the company can survive in a space competing with the likes of Apple and RIM, and what's up with those financial forecasts?

McNamee navigates the minefield with his usual aplomb, repeating his usual talking points: Elevation is in this for the long haul, and it's not about the individual devices, it's about the webOS platform as a whole: "Palm isn't the Pre, and it isn't Pixi. It's webOS." The video is embedded after the jump.


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pump and dump

Gekko @ 10/19/2009 9:50:51 AM # Q

"You know the beautiful thing: June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later. Think about itIf you bought the first iPhone, you bought it because you wanted the coolest product on the market. Your two-year contract has just expired. Look around. Tell me what they're going to buy."

- Roger McNamee - March 2009

RE: pump and dump
rmhurdman @ 10/19/2009 12:09:05 PM # Q
iPhone 3GS.

Or was it a trick question?

RE: pump and dump
jca666us @ 10/19/2009 12:31:24 PM # M Q
lol

mcnamee's reality distortion field generator was on the fritz the day that quote was taken!

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webOS Intelligence

mikecane @ 10/19/2009 12:55:07 PM # Q
"It will know when you're going to be late for meeting and send out an email letting people know." -- paraphrase.

Um, where is that?

RE: webOS Intelligence
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 1:23:53 PM # Q
It's in there...
Reply to this comment

Broken Record...

surfmaniac @ 10/19/2009 1:41:40 PM # Q
You people sound like a broken record... look at what the company is doing, not at one director who shoots his mouth off on occasion. (How many times are we going to hear that 'June 29 quote... another ten thousand, perhaps?)

RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 2:24:56 PM # Q
You gotta admit, it is a pretty funny quote, surfmaniac.

Almost as funny as "This revolutionary technology is called multi-touch and boy, have we patented it." ;)

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/19/2009 2:58:03 PM # Q
Oh well Tim,

7 million people (this quarter) can't be wrong.

RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 3:38:37 PM # M Q
Transformers 2 Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 19%

Box Office Gross: $832,747,337

Sales figures prove nothing, troll-bot, except that people are sheep. Some are better at herding them than others. Bam-ram-ewe!

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/19/2009 3:40:59 PM # Q
Since you brought up rotten tomatoes - nothing's more rotten than the palm pre's sales numbers - hahahahaha...
RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/19/2009 3:48:16 PM # Q
Since you brought up rotten tomatoes - nothing's more rotten than the palm pre's sales numbers - hahahahaha...
RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 3:53:03 PM # M Q
Oh, what a compelling argument. You've totally disproved my point, as usual. All hail the troll-bot, King of Logic!
RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/19/2009 4:24:49 PM # Q
>Sales figures prove nothing, except that people are sheep.

Bizarre that you attempt to equate the popularity of a movie with the popularity of an electronics device.

With the sales of high ticket items like phones, some things (such as) quality and usability come into play - areas where the Pre is lacking - which explains it's lackluster sales.

RE: Broken Record...
Gekko @ 10/19/2009 4:42:24 PM # Q

yes, poor analogy. grasping at straws.
RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 6:49:38 PM # Q

Bizarre that you attempt to equate the popularity of a movie with the popularity of an electronics device.

And again, you miss the point troll-bot. My point is that popularity != quality. And the only ppl who care about sales figures are fanboys. The rest of us pick devices based on our own personal needs, not what everyone else is buying.

Gekko:

I ain't grasping at anything, Lizard-Man. Lots of people are buying the iPhone. Lots of people bought the RAZR. McDonald's is the most popular "restaurant" but no one's calling it gourmet cuisine. Britney Spears came, and Britney Spears went. Popularity means sweets dick all.

RE: Broken Record...
Gekko @ 10/19/2009 7:13:02 PM # Q

fallacious argument. McDonald's is #1 in the FAST FOOD segment. McDonald's does not compete in the GOURMET segment. get it?

iPhone competes with Palm in the SMARTPHONE segment. get it?

the market has spoken and popularity within a segment means something. get it?

please no more silly Aussie logic tonight.

RE: Broken Record...
hkklife @ 10/19/2009 7:25:15 PM # Q
Please don't mention Bayformers again. Just like Trek, I'm an "original series" purist. All hail G1 alone!
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?
RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/19/2009 8:14:53 PM # Q
fallacious argument. McDonald's is #1 in the FAST FOOD segment. McDonald's does not compete in the GOURMET segment. get it?

Yes. Why is McDonald's #1 in fast food, though? It's not the quality: IMO, there are better-tasting, better-value chains out there. Like Coke, McDonald's maintains their stranglehold on the top through an incredibly strong branding and a limitless marketing budget, with a big real-estate advantage. (Pepsi, for instance, consistently wins blind taste-tests against Coke yet simply cannot take down the big C juggernaut.)

Apple has a massively strong brand, a formidable retail presence and a highly successful marketing strategy. All of these factors virtually guarantee that Palm won't be besting them in sales anytime soon, even if the Pre was the greatest phone ever made.

All you can go on is what personally works for you. And a crappy virtual keyboard, an iTunes ball-and-chain, a hermetically sealed battery and Apple's draconian, ridiculous app & development policies mean I won't be picking up an iPhone anytime soon, nor will many others.

Also the fact that idiots like jca666us love it so much. Ew. What a turn off.

Kris:

Please don't mention Bayformers again. Just like Trek, I'm an "original series" purist. All hail G1 alone!

I love TOS. But no DS9 love?
Sometime PIC blogger
Treo 270 --> Treo 650 --> Treo 680 --> Centro
I apologise for any and all emoticons in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/20/2009 5:07:58 AM # Q
>Apple has a massively strong brand, a formidable retail presence and a
>highly successful marketing strategy. All of these factors virtually
>guarantee that Palm won't be besting them in sales anytime soon, even if
>the Pre was the greatest phone ever made.

Which the Pre isn't - funny how Verizon is following the same line of attack with the Droid which Palm has with the Pre (multitasking 3rd party apps, real keyboard). What they fail to realize is that it isn't hardware specs, but usability (and the app store) which has allowed Apple to succeed.

>All you can go on is what personally works for you. And a crappy virtual
>keyboard, an iTunes ball-and-chain, a hermetically sealed battery and
>Apple's draconian, ridiculous app & development policies mean I won't be
>picking up an iPhone anytime soon, nor will many others.

Well, considering that the iphone sales have been picking up, you may not be purchasing an iphone (due to your blind allegiance to Palm), but many more people will.

Usability is the key - not loading features in - which is why Palm hasn't even sold 1 million Pre yet.

>Also the fact that idiots like jca666us love it so much. Ew. What a turn off.

oh my, an insult - grow up...

RE: Broken Record...
abosco @ 10/20/2009 8:11:21 AM # M Q
Tim, I disagree with the analogy for one large reason. The device that has the lead gets the most support. In this case, it's developer support, and contrary to all of the media crap about rejecting apps, some of the most undoubtedly high quality programs are available on the iDevice. If you choose the Pre, you get meager support from Palm, a weak software library thus far, and a company who, quite frankly, might die tomorrow.

Two years ago, when I jumped ship, I did so because I saw an awesome platform and a bright future backed by a company that has a recent history of hitting home runs. Palm went 0 for 3 in that count, as evidenced by Gekko clutching his rickety Centro.

RE: Broken Record...
nastebu @ 10/20/2009 8:11:39 AM # Q
Tim Carroll wrote:
The rest of us pick devices based on our own personal needs, not what everyone else is buying.

Tim, you seem to pick your devices based on an unhealthy hatred of Steven Job's sweater collection.

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/20/2009 9:58:15 AM # M Q
Obviously Tim's criteria for choosing a device leave much to be desired.


RE: Broken Record...
Tim Carroll @ 10/20/2009 3:18:01 PM # Q
bosco:
The device that has the lead gets the most support. In this case, it's developer support, and contrary to all of the media crap about rejecting apps, some of the most undoubtedly high quality programs are available on the iDevice. If you choose the Pre, you get meager support from Palm, a weak software library thus far, and a company who, quite frankly, might die tomorrow.

That's pretty much all true except for the "meager support" part (palm have been pushing out webOS updates every month) and the "might die tomorrow". Rubbish doomsaying, Bosco. They've got cash, a second webOS phone coming and more carriers. They might not be destined for Apple or RIM-style success - at least not yet - but they're looking pretty healthy to me.

But as for the rejections - it's not because some app that I really want on the iPhone has been rejected that I object. It's that Apple has such power to control the legal selection of apps at all. I would never, ever buy into a platform that was so unreasonably restricted as to censor a dictionary, or or a Twitter app, or apps that "duplicate functionality", or ban Google Voice out of some paranoiac fear of competition. Jailbreaking an iPhone would be the first thing I'd do if I got one... and even now, Apple are still doing their damndest to shut that down. It's a sick attitude.

Compare to Palm's attitude to the homebrewers, and their upcoming no-review app policies. I can get behind that.

nastebu:

Tim, you seem to pick your devices based on an unhealthy hatred of Steven Job's sweater collection.

I don't like Apple. (Had you picked up on that yet? :p ) But I don't avoid their devices based on that alone. I find iTunes a horrible piece of software and avoid it like the plague - tethering my phone to it is a nightmare scenario. I don't like virtual keyboards. And as stated above, their attitude to locking down their devices and stomping on the hackers disgusts me.

Yes, I also hate turtlenecks...

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/20/2009 5:10:08 PM # Q
That's pretty much all true except for the "meager support" part (palm have been pushing out webOS updates every month) and the "might die
tomorrow". Rubbish doomsaying, Bosco. They've got cash, a second
webOS phone coming and more carriers. They might not be destined for
Apple or RIM-style success - at least not yet - but they're looking pretty
healthy to me.

Based on Palm's history on *no support*, Palm's latest efforts can best be described as meager support (minor bug fixes).

Let's see if Palm is producing firmware updates for Pixie or (the current) Pre a year from now, or if they're capable of producing updates of the magnitude of the iphone OS 2.x or 3.x.

Palm may not be dead, but they're still in the ICU.

It's that Apple has such power to control the legal selection of apps at all. I would never, ever buy into a platform that was so unreasonably restricted as to censor a dictionary, or or a Twitter app, or apps that "duplicate functionality", or ban Google Voice out of some paranoiac fear of competition.

Well, considering their success, Apple has little reason to change.

Jailbreaking an iPhone would be the first thing I'd do if I got one... and even now, Apple are still doing their damndest to shut that down. It's a sick attitude.

Actually, even though I've jailbroken both of my iphones (and reversed the process), Apple has good reason to obliterate jailbreaking - as it allows people to download apps from the app store for free.

That's not a sick attitude - that's the right attitude.

Compare to Palm's attitude to the homebrewers, and their upcoming no-review app policies. I can get behind that.

That's Palm telling people what they want to hear, in an effort to shore up support for a platform that's going nowhere.

I find iTunes a horrible piece of software and avoid it like the plague - tethering my phone to it is a nightmare scenario. I don't like virtual keyboards. And as stated above, their attitude to locking down their devices and stomping on the hackers disgusts me.

Yes, I also hate turtlenecks...

At least you're being honest in your biases - maybe there's hope for you yet.

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/20/2009 7:16:09 PM # M Q
RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/20/2009 7:51:20 PM # Q
Tim Carroll wrote:
Jailbreaking an iPhone would be the first thing I'd do if I got one... and even now, Apple are still doing their damndest to shut that down. It's a sick attitude.

I'm completely with you on this one. I can not stand the Apple attitude. IMO, the iPhone is a fantastic piece of hardware running a pretty good OS and having one incredible amount of third-party support in their app store. Yes, there are flaws, but I'll sure give them credit. However, ...

jca666us wrote:
Well, considering their success, Apple has little reason to change.

Yep, and they won't. And they especially won't when individual after individual proves to them over and over again that Apple can exert that level of control and people will still flock to their products. I have no interest in being one of those people (sheep). I'll vote with my pocketbook and choose the highest level of freedom I can find that still functions well for my needs. Obviously that is not Apple.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Broken Record...
nastebu @ 10/21/2009 3:54:08 AM # Q
"Highest level of freedom" makes it all sound like a moral crusade. It's a cell phone.

Apple, Microsoft, Palm. There's no moral distinctions here. These are all big corporations who are interested mostly in generating profits. We're not electing a president, we're choosing a cell phone.

Don't buy Apple. Buy Palm. But lord, don't feel morally superior because you bought one product and not another.

RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/21/2009 4:03:45 AM # Q
nastebu wrote:
"Highest level of freedom" makes it all sound like a moral crusade. It's a cell phone.

Apple, Microsoft, Palm. There's no moral distinctions here. These are all big corporations who are interested mostly in generating profits. We're not electing a president, we're choosing a cell phone.

Don't buy Apple. Buy Palm. But lord, don't feel morally superior because you bought one product and not another.

"Moral superiority"?! Who said anything about that? Get a clue. This isn't about moral anything. I don't know what you're on, but maybe the dosage needs adjusting.

Go build your straw men somewhere else.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Broken Record...
nastebu @ 10/21/2009 7:25:19 AM # Q
why does every argument on pic go ad hominem immediately?
RE: Broken Record...
abosco @ 10/21/2009 7:28:23 AM # M Q
Yeah, I get it. You want a system that is the most open because that will spur the best hardware and the freedom to create the best software.

Palm decided to use an HTML-based programming environment. Yet Apple has 85,000 programs in it's App Store, more people developing for it than there are current Pre customers, and two billion downloads. So that doesn't seem to be working out for them.

Google decided to go the Microsoft route, allowing freedom of hardware and software, but instead making it open source so that licensees can tweak their own handsets. Yet Apple is the one who has sold almost 40 million iPhones alone (not including iPod Touch). It turns out that Android is being put on all the same hardware that Windows Mobile has been put on and, surprise, the sales numbers are not exactly breaking anybody's back.

In the mobile space, tight integration is king. Apple is second to none in that department in every aspect of it's platform. The software that has been locked out (Google Voice, tethering, 3G TV) does not interest me enough. I value that huge app selection and iTunes library that much. If it's not worth it to you, that's fine. But be warned, you'll probably be left on Asian forums finding unsupported software hacks to do things the device should be doing in the first place, much like Palm OS 4, or be waiting for Google to update their OS, only to have to wait for Motorola to fix it up and make it live as well.

Meanwhile, I'll take my TomTom voicing, Kindle ebook reading, Quickoffice writing, EA Sports playing iPhone and be on my merry way. As will millions else.

RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/21/2009 8:08:49 AM # Q
nastebu wrote:
why does every argument on pic go ad hominem immediately?

Maybe in this case it's because statements like "But lord, don't feel morally superior because you bought one product and not another." are seen as ad hominem and responded to in kind.



Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/21/2009 8:38:47 AM # Q
abosco wrote:
Yeah, I get it. You want a system that is the most open because that will spur the best hardware and the freedom to create the best software.

If that's what you think I mean, then no, I don't believe you do get it. Maybe the most open system will result in those things and maybe it won't. But even if it doesn't, it's worthwhile to try. There is value to me in trying to avoid artificial controls and in trying to create the potential for even more freedom.


....Yet Apple is the one who has sold almost 40 million iPhones alone (not including iPod Touch). It turns out that Android is being put on all the same hardware that Windows Mobile has been put on and, surprise, the sales numbers are not exactly breaking anybody's back.

These statements and the rest of what you wrote reinforce my belief that you don't get what I am saying. You keep bringing up the numbers, the sheer "volume" as the evidence that one company's way is superior to another's. If I were investing in stock, that would matter to me too. I'm not. On the desktop, I do not think Microsoft's products to be better just because they have the numbers. Neither do I think Apple's numbers mean anything when it comes to purchasing a smartphone. What matters to me is choosing a highly functional smartphone that meets my requirements (obviously different than yours based on the list you gave as examples of what you find valuable) and at the same time avoids me being just one other person who contributes to a reduction in freedom.

And by the way, if somehow Android ever passes Apple in marketshare, will that mean that it is the better choice? Seems to be the logical conclusion of your argument, but I don't think you are willing to agree with that statement.


Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Broken Record...
abosco @ 10/21/2009 9:50:47 AM # M Q
For a lot of people on this site, Palm OS suited their needs well. Look what happened. Kris is probably on his sixth T|X, and Gekko is on his second (third?) Centro.

There is something to be said about the market leader. Application development and ecosystem integration are a few of them. It ensures that the platform will prove to be a good investment for the future. You won't be left holding the shaft with an unsupported device on a rickety old network with tons of invested time and money into a platform that is essentially dead because of a lack of interest.

RE: Broken Record...
mikecane @ 10/21/2009 4:47:09 PM # Q
>>>There is something to be said about the market leader.

Only that is has numbers, nothing more than that.

RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/21/2009 4:48:02 PM # Q
abosco wrote:
For a lot of people on this site, Palm OS suited their needs well. Look what happened. Kris is probably on his sixth T|X, and Gekko is on his second (third?) Centro.

And even there, fascinatingly, Palm was the market leader! Basing ones purchasing decisions on who is the current market leader is then obviously no guarantee of what you say in the paragraph that follows. Maybe Apple will stay the market leader; maybe they won't.

There is something to be said about the market leader.

Yes, there is plenty to be said about the market leader, some very good, and some very bad. Apple as the market leader looks worse to me than even Microsoft as the market leader. If I can help it, I no longer wish to help any tech company gain a monopoly in any area when that company is completely "closed" and in total control. I instead am willing to take the risk of going with some other company/product that is "open", that supports freedom by their business practices.

I'm not a purist, and I am willing to make plenty of compromises. But buying Apple goes way beyond a "compromise".

BTW, will Android be the "better" choice if it surpasses the iPhone in marketshare? :-)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Broken Record...
jca666us @ 10/21/2009 5:14:13 PM # M Q
Maybe Apple will stay the market leader; maybe they won't.

If Apple releases no new innovations in the iPhone for the next three years except for a rehashed iPhone with an innovative case that comes in "4 amazing colors" then they would no longer be a market leader.

RE: Broken Record...
mikecane @ 10/21/2009 5:21:43 PM # Q
>>>If I can help it, I no longer wish to help any tech company gain a monopoly in any area when that company is completely "closed" and in total control. I instead am willing to take the risk of going with some other company/product that is "open", that supports freedom by their business practices.

This is increasingly my own view too.

However, I defend Apple because I think they have a master plan -- and I also think it's *inevitable* that iTunes Store *must* become a *platform*, with Apple releasing its monopolistic grip. Even Apple will come to that conclusion -- although I bet they already have. But they are not Microsoft and won't throw any shit at a wall, hoping it will stick. This is why we haven't seen a frikkin iTablet. I say let them enjoy their rightful profits for now as they line up everything for the day they can't escape.

You know how everydamncompany imitates Apple. So when Apple goes all-open, all those other dominoes will follow too.

RE: Broken Record...
nastebu @ 10/21/2009 5:47:19 PM # Q
mikecane wrote:
However, I defend Apple because I think they have a master plan -- and I also think it's *inevitable* that iTunes Store *must* become a *platform*, with Apple releasing its monopolistic grip. Even Apple will come to that conclusion -- although I bet they already have. But they are not Microsoft and won't throw any shit at a wall, hoping it will stick. This is why we haven't seen a frikkin iTablet. I say let them enjoy their rightful profits for now as they line up everything for the day they can't escape.

I think it's safe to say that if being too closed starts costing Apple money, they'll open up. Right now being closed down and tightly wound is making them a pile of cash, so it's kind of crazy to expect them to suddenly change their story.

I don't know enough about programing to say, but isn't it possible that keeping the OS closed so far has helped Apple work out the bugs? The late distribution of the SDK seems smart in retrospect. They took a year to get the basic OS right, then they opened it to third party programers with enormous success.

Maybe that's the actual trend Apple is taking, what Cane calls the "master plan."

RE: Broken Record...
twrock @ 10/22/2009 12:33:22 AM # Q
mikecane wrote:
.... So when Apple goes all-open, all those other dominoes will follow too.

How I wish that really was the plan. But I haven't seen anything out of Apple that leads me to believe that is going to happen.

nastebu wrote:
I think it's safe to say that if being too closed starts costing Apple money, they'll open up. Right now being closed down and tightly wound is making them a pile of cash, so it's kind of crazy to expect them to suddenly change their story.

Not only will I agree with that, I'd go even further. Jobs is probably willing to lose money just to keep control. (Of course it will be spun as being some other reason for not letting go.)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
RE: Broken Record...
abosco @ 10/22/2009 6:40:10 AM # M Q
If that's true, then why did Apple get DRM off iTunes music? Doesn't that refute what you just said?

They're capable of opening things up IF there's more money to be made in doing so.

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