tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg December 26, 2021 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
vonnie: 6:30 in new york. u.s. diseases expert anthony fauci says americans should stay vigilant against omicron despite evidence symptoms may be less severe. this as infections around the country and globally continue to search over the holiday weekend. china reported 158 the highest daily number of infections since last january. amid an outbreak. china's central bank has support
for the economy. there will be more proactive and targeted use of tools. policymakers have taken a restrained approach to monetary stimulus. there are growing expectations it will take more than the new year to encourage growth. walmart has stopped showing -- selling goods at their stores. walmart representatives in china and the west did not merely respond to a request for comment. a bill banning goods made from the provinces. u.s. futures have started trading, s&p futures are pointing to a higher open after the pboc pledge and holiday spending comes in quite a bit higher than expected according to mastercard.
>> everybody seems to be making money. the returns are high. can they get any better than this and are you worried about this being a bubble? >> you always worry about the markets getting overinflated. i do think that there is some risk within the general market of this. technology is accelerating the
transformation of all industries. artificial intelligence can do all industries, that is of the leading edge of software. things happening with ar and vr and crypto and fintech. i think it is very much accelerating into the future. that is why the venture industry has been so good. technology is important in redefining many key industries. >> silicon valley is not the only place in the united states where there is technology investment. the silicon valley companies tend to be the most valuable and that is where the most activity is occurring. is there something that makes it better? >> there is. silicon valley itself has a number of overlapping network effects. being the hub of a lot of english speaking entrepreneurs from around the world coming to start their software businesses. there is the hub for capital and
the knowledge and investing that goes into it. there is a hub of talent for people growing these companies as part of the reason i wrote this book, how do you build technology companies on a global scale lightning fast. there is the network effects of learning and the sharing of information. silicon valley has the whole bay area, 3.5 billion people tops. half of the nasdaq emerges out of silicon valley. those network effects is what makes silicon valley great. >> what about around the world? will china catch up and pass silicon valley? >> it is one of the greatest concerns that silicon valley has. china is amazing. it has a huge amount of technology talent, everybody is acting like an immigrant.
with hunger. large companies have this policy of 996, 9:00 to 9 p.m. seven days a week you are discoverable at your desk. they are a lot of innovation. there are things that we learn from china. i think that china is going to have one very strong technological future. that is why we call it the land of blitzscaling. >> some people say that the technology world is a limited by a number of companies. -- is limited by a number of companies. do you think that the united states is dominated by too few technology companies? something should be done to weaken their power? >> what i think we are heading
to is we are going from five massive technology companies to 10. we are naturally heading in that direction. we see it with netflix and salesforce and all of these other companies which are continuing to also grow in strength. create a writ of additional -- bredth of technology companies. if you think of the venture capitalists, we are having more startups and ability to create amazing new techno companies. i think we are on that trajectory. >> do you think that large chinese technology companies can have their technology become very dominant or important in the united states? are we in a world where we are competing with chinese
technology companies? >> i think we are already in that world. if you look at things of alibaba is doing in terms of spreading the alipay into south america and africa. the notion of the technological platforms of the future are deep, there is a vast -- fast-moving competition between companies in the silicon valley and companies in china. which systems will be the systems that the world operates in? in deep competition. we are already seeing chinese platform companies beginning to make a had roads into the u.s. you already see it in a drone manufacturing, there is a whole bunch that already getting massive global relevance. you can see it already. >> let us talk about the future.
cryptocurrencies. are you a cryptocurrency aficionado or not? >> i am. if you go to youtube and search for bitcoin rap battle, it is inspired by alexander hamilton the musical. ♪ it needs regulation ♪ i funded and produced a rap battle between alexander hamilton and satoshi nakamoto. i believe there is a world of work of the currencies to be involved. >> what about transportation? are you a big believer in autonomous vehicles? >> i invested in aurora and neuro-. it is a question of when, not if and how soon for when we have autonomous vehicles. it will make our societies
better, it will save lives, it will enable a huge amount of increase in productivity. i think it is a great thing we should be accelerating as society. >> have you been in one of these cars we are not the driver and you feel safe? >> i do and i do. safety is the first thing. when i have been in this car, it is good and fine. >> do you wear a crash helmet when you were in those cars? >> no. >> are flying taxis in our future? >> yes. it has moved the transport grid from 2d to 3d. it redefines space and cities. and makes commutes much less onerous -- it makes commutes
much less onerous. being able to live remote and come into the cities. the jetsons is now no longer science fiction but en route to science fact. >> what about space? >> not as intensely as some of my friends like a lawn who are in that -- like elon. it is an important area. i have ended up in it sometimes just by who i know. ♪
>> you were going to be an academic but you said i am not going to be an academic i'm going to be something more important. i will be an investor. >> i started with a product creator. not necessarily with art up nor -- not necessarily with entrepreneur. how do we make things better as a group. this medium of software and
constructing new products, it was -- i was beginning to get the lens of what the internet is and how we will all work together and play together and live together using the internet to redefine the space and network in order to do better. i should go create that. >> you are invited to join a company that was called paypal. it turned out to be a gigantic success. what was your topic paypal? -- job at paypal? they invited their friend who most understood had the most entrepreneurial experience to be on the board. >> after a year of being on the board, i was thinking about starting another company. peter said come join paypal full-time. you have been helping us so much on the board and you understand this. we have so much to do. paypal was an early scaler.
it was going to be a bank and that was not a workable theory. we had a great customer acquisition engine. how do you redefine the payments was something in front of it -- with something in front of it? i joined paypal full-time. >> paypal was sold to ebay for about $1 billion. you got your share of the profits. you then became an angel investor. what is an angel investor? >> sometimes there may be investors that people think are double investors. angel investors are people who have knowledge of the entrepreneur that tend to invest in early stages of a company. frequently the idea of a back of a napkin or about an
entrepreneur nervous about doing something. it does so individually. not without a firm or resource and assets of a firm. the platform, network that a firm brings. that is what i started doing. i was interested in other people who were building these great projects that i wanted to help out with and dissipate in. -- participate in. >> you became known as the most active and successful annual investor in silicon valley. one company you invested in west facebook? -- was facebook? >> did you say i will take a chance? >> facebook had already successfully launched a product. when it opened up a campus, when i did the investment it was strictly only a university campus network. not the whole world. when it opened up a campus, 80%
of the campus was using it six times or more per day. if you look at the usage curve and go this is interesting. back then, mark was quiet. i had a tendency to not talk very much. long pauses, minutes along. where you wonder if the conversation is over. you can see he was smart and what was the trajectory that facebook was on was really interesting. >> if you are an angel investor, people are coming to you with deals and why you might -- while you miss one or two, you find greylock. why do you need to be doing a venture capital when you are already your own adventure capitalist? why would you join greylock? >> not surprising. i think in networks, it is
platforms. one of the things i think the small number of very elite venture capital firms within silicon valley and other places do is create a network. i was thinking about building my own. general partners were saying we are in the process of moving the firm from boston to silicon valley. it is a rebirth of the firm which has this great set of investors. this idea of network amplifier for venture capital. we love it. these are people -- i would be delighted to be partners with these people. let us build the firm here. >> when you were starting, even though you had a good career as an angel investor, one of the legends of silicon valley is the daily wanted to do was airbnb?
the senior partner at your firm said, this is a terrible deal, it is going nowhere. or you intimidated by that -- were you intimidated by that? >> there was even more drama. the senior partner was an amazing general partner with my board member from greylock at linkedin. so, i bring in airbnb as my first deal that i am bringing in to the partnership. david, who i am super close to and i have the deepest respect for has returned billions of dollars and says it has a deal that they can learn from and fill from. airbnb can be yours. i have to have the conviction, this is a portfolio, he gave me the permission to go to the
deal. to david's credit, he came back to me and said i thought about it a lot, i think you are right, what did you see that i did not see? all of the risk factors that use our correct. i just realized if you navigated through the risk factors which i could see as able to do, you would end up with a redefining company of an industry. it would transform the entire industry. >> you had some time from then to start a little company called linkedin. >> the goal was building something that every professional could improve their career by collaborating through a network. ♪
investing, you started a company called linkedin. how did you have time to start a company? >> i started it much earlier. that is how i met greylock. david let my series b. i was doing angel investing. i was the cofounder of linkedin. i did not start infecting -- investing until i hired the ceo of linkedin. >> it was sold to markets it for roughly $26 billion. did you ever anticipate something like that when you started the company? >> one of the things to think about when you are strategizing, a framework of planning, think about the spread of outcomes. what is the great possible outcome, the worst outcome,
intermediate outcomes? what are the things that change the landscape of it? i knew that linkedin could be a platform that would be chris formative. i knew it was -- chris formative. i knew it was aligned with microsoft's mission. did i know that microsoft would end up buying it? or, -- the answer is no. it was the outcome, not the goal. the goal was to me that enabled every professional to transform their career by collaborating within a network. >> when you sold the company to microsoft, but me ask you about that. microsoft was a technology company that came out of nowhere and became a dominant software company. many people thought it would go south as it was getting older and older. it transformed itself as it gained a new ceo. we are surprised on how the
company has become one of the most valuable companies in the world again -- were you surprised on how the company has become one of the most viable companies in the world again? >> now. -- no. microsoft has raw talent. having some key franchises like office and windows and being willing to be bold and the creating of the gaming franchise. -- creation of the gaming franchise. what i think they brought back was a focus on earning the ability to build the next generation of products. starting with his own background in azure and transform it across the company. we are only one company in this universe and we are going our
absolute best to surprise and delight our customers. >> let us talk about the different skill set. you need a certain skill set. what is that skill set and how is it different to be an art nor --entrepreneur? >> you have a vision for wealthy world is moving towards -- where the world is moving towards. in the case of a new technology or market shift. something that gives you a market opportunity. you can assemble through your network the assets, not as capital, the talent, the ability to build. you are driven by the cadence of a complete focus by how do you navigate that path which can include pivoting, risk management, and a bunch of other things.
that build of building something from nothing. in scaling, getting a really -- it really large really fast. you are judging talent in that same kind of circumstance? can this set of people and founders do that and run this kind of race? the difference between being the entrepreneur where focuses on the investor is you are making -- you are not running the race as the investor. the founder is the arbiter -- is the entrepreneurs. can you help them as best you can get there? is a key difference is in scaling -- the key difference is in scaling. >> do you have some failures
where you lost all of your money? >> it depends do we have days, i can go through the list? the analysis is not as the company that you invest in that when 20. there is a large list of companies that did that. it is the companies that you missed. missing twitter, pinterest, those are much worse outcomes than you put in money in a company that went to zero. >> if somebody says i want to be the next reid hoffman, or would you say is the best training ground to do that? how should somebody prepare? >> i am still young enough and
hoping to be the next reid hoffman myself. there is a number of people who are like this within silicon valley. who bring an under manorial -- entrepreneurial mindset. i could literally spend another hour listing names. other areas by which we collaborate with these people. there are a lot of people who are all going to be the next themselves with this amazing kind of track record. good luck. ♪
>> let us take a look at japan and korea which has just come online. retail sales data coming out, muted a lower offer the tone. retail sales of lower for the third month in a row. 2.2% in november. it missed the survey but it was better than the previous one. japan up 1.9%. department stores up 1.4%. that was a miss.