tv Best of Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg December 19, 2016 12:00am-1:01am EST
isaustralia's treasury sticking to a projected return to budget surplus by 2021. armed with a slightly narrower deficit, scott morrison hopes his update will hold off a credit ratings downgrade. moody's says the situation is persistent with australia's aaa rating. china's property market cooled again in november amid renewed curves to deflate a potential housing bubble. home prices gained in 55 of 70 cities tracked by the government. prices dropped in 11 cities. four remained unchanged.
scotland says it will call a new referendum on secession if it is forced out of the european union by brexit. nicola sturgeon's warning comes as the u.k. prime minister continues to prepare brexit strategy. she's due to trigger article 50 by the end of march. global news 24 hours a day powered by more than 2600 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. this is bloomberg. asian markets looking tepid. we're looking at losses when it comes to the japanese markets. hong kong seeing very steep selling off. shanghai fluctuating between gains and losses. we have a slightly stronger you wanted a. japanese shares lower with a stronger yen. ♪
emily: i am emily chang. and this is the "best of bloomberg technology." where we bring you all of the top interviews from the week in tech. coming up, they are among donald trump's most outspoken critics. big tech leaders came face-to-face with the president elect this week. we have the takeaways from the trump tech summit. plus, yahoo! out with a new numbers saying it second hack affected over a billion users in 2013. what does it mean for the verizon deal? and we catch up with one of the most well-respected names in silicon valley. she joins us on trump's roadmap and energy policy. first to our lead. this week, president elect donald trump met with industry leaders that content work with vice president elect mike pence and senior adviser peter thiel sitting by his side. mr. trump: i am here to help you folks do well. and you are doing well right now, and i'm very honored by the bounce.
we are all talking about the balance. right now everybody likes me, at least a little bit. emily: apple's tim cook, facebook's sheryl sandberg, and amazon's jeff bezos were in attendance. for the tech giants this was a chance to attempt donald trump to avoid policies that may hurt their companies, policies pertaining to immigration, internet security, regulation on government investment. ahead of the meeting, oracle co-ceo katz said "we are net exporters. over 60% of our sales are overseas. so better trade deals are very much in our interest." we caught up with james check mark, analyst, and our bloomberg tech reporter outside of trump tower. >> they did not speak to reporters. the lobby was flooded with reporters with tourists watching. we did get a glimpse at the beginning of the meeting. trump really try to do strike a conciliatory tone. he started off the meeting by praising peter thiel as an
innovator. he praised silicon valley for how important they were, all of the stuff they have been able to accomplish. he said, i want you to keep innovating. i am here to help. he said call me any time. call my people any time. he said we really don't have a formal chain of command here. so he really changed his tone compared to the public opposition that was very alarming on the campaign trail. emily: certainly interesting to see them starting off on this foot after silicon valley was very vocally against the election of donald trump, besides peter thiel. obviously, it is nice to hear these things, i'm sure. but you know, what are the real policy issues that they will be at odds on here? >> like you said, it is trade, immigration, net neutrality and so forth. emily: and social issues. >> there is a lot of people saying this is not about-face, what the tech leaders are doing. why is it such a bad thing to
open up the lines of communication? if you have a direct line to the president, which is somewhat of an unprecedented thing we are seeing right now, you can start to influence the things that you are important for the tech community and the world really, and job creation and whatnot, but at the same time learn where he is coming from and have a dialogue to open up these conversations. when you are dealing in that room, sitting $3 trillion worth of value across all those those tech companies. when you are controlling this much of the economy, you need to have -- it is about how you position america for growth win automation and all these things are starting to take over. emily: we are learning that twitter was not invited. reuters reporting saying twitter was too small, this after donald used twitter to great effect throughout his campaign and continues to use it on a daily basis. politico has also reported that the trump campaign was not happy with the way twitter handled a
crooked hillary emoji that trump's campaign wanted to include in their twitterby? do you have any concern, as someone that covers the company, that this could interfere with twitter's business? >> no, i don't think so. i met with them this week. it is clear that they are adhering to their core philosophy that, you know, they have to be at platform for everyone. emily: that said, jack dorsey has not been shy about sharing his political views. a lot of these folks have not been shy about sharing his political views. jack dorsey tweets his political views all the time. james: it is in their best interest to maintain a good relationship with donald trump. that is the biggest sort of validation you can have, having the president talk through your platform and no other platform. but at the same time, jack not being invited is not that big of a deal. it is about the companies that are really about job creation. you know, when you think about what twitter contributes to the global economy and the local economy, it is to a lesser extent than what you see from
the guys in the room. emily: on another point, the tech community does not necessarily create a lot of jobs relative to the weight that it punches. apple, amazon, microsoft, facebook, google together account for 600,000 jobs, while walmart accounts for 1.5 million in the united states alone. and apple, even though trump has called for them to bring jobs back to the united states, it is very unlikely. that would be automated. i wonder if trump and these companies can find common ground. james: they have to. even the jobs going overseas, they are starting to be -- the jobs disenfranchising u.s. workers by outsourcing those jobs to china and india, those jobs are starting to be automated, so we have to prepare for the next paradigm of how the public and the constituency of the united states, you know, prepare itself through education
initiatives and partnering with the tech community so in that in the next 2.0 technology world that they are able to work and contribute to society. right now, even jobs going overseas will be taken over by robots. but on the jack dorsey note, it is interesting that kanye west was invited. but not -- emily: [laughter] and it came down to a photo op. travis kalanick was not there. the company said he was traveling. however he was named to the strategic and policy forum with elon musk, along with ibm ceo ginni rometty, in addition to business leaders who will be advising trump on how the private sector thinks about some of these issues. is there anything you can tell us more about this particular meeting? >> you know, i think it is going to be unclear how important the uber ceo will be to the strategic policy initiative. the people on that initiative are very wide ranging.
it also includes the pepsi ceo, but i do think trump will be turning to them to talk about the future of transportation, how transportation and technology are going to work together. so, hopefully, this will be a good line of communication moving forward, but no further details on that at this time. emily: that was bloomberg tech's selina wang at trump tower. in the latest tech funding board, apple has held talks about investing in softbank's $100 billion tech fund. this according to someone with knowledge of the situation. apple may contribute as much as $1 billion to the fund which would give the company insight into up and coming technology. apple also invested $1 billion in didi earlier this year, marking a major shift in strategy for the iphone maker. softbank ceo masayoshi son told president-elect trump that half of its $100 billion fund would be invested in the united states.
still ahead, our exclusive interview with investor, entrepreneur and former google ceo bill marist. he tells us why he pulled the plug on a new health care fund. and a reminder that all episodes of "bloomberg technology" are live streaming on twitter. check us out a bloomberg tech tv, 2:00 in san francisco. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
emily: a story we are watching, disney trying to recruit major hollywood studios to join its digital service. this according to people familiar with the plan. disney is looking to add content out side of its own disney anywhere service. it will allow users to watch and store services on a site. disney is said to be in an ongoing tug-of-war with five other major studios that support a rival format called ultraviolet. one other catch, disney might have to change the name of the service to get the other studios on board. now to a tech focus on washington. the president-elect sat down with top executives. we set down with bill's relationship with with washington going forward. bill: i learned that 62 people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 4 billion. that is stunning. they could probably fit in this
room and i would probably know half of them, that is down from 400 people six years ago. so i think there are some real problems to talk about that are different than whether silicon valley will get along with the president. emily: now i know that you are close friends with peter thiel, who was sort of the loan silicon valley supporter. how do you feel about his contrarian views having a potentially great influence on the president? bill: peter is a friend and someone i respect a lot. he called it. he said the election was going to go this way. and i thinhe said for a couple of years that people were unhappy and peistic, and i think we have a new president who was elected fair and square, and as american, i think we should all want him to be successful, and so i have got great respect for peter and his intellect. i do count him as a friend. emily: has peter asked you to help in any way? i know he has been trying to rally the troops. bill: if peter asked, i would help him. emily: anything you would like to contribute? bill: i am just going to leave it at that. emily: outside the vortex, there are still a large amount of
people with great concern about a trump presidency. the cia has now told congress that russia not only tried to hack the election, not only hacked the election but also helped donald trump. donald trump has attacked the cia for this revelation, if you will. what is your reaction to that? bill: i have not seen any evidence myself that the outcome would have been any different. emily: we don't know. bill: no foreign power should interfere in our elections, so i think we can all agree on that. at the end of the day, i think we should judge trump what he does rather than what he says or certainly what other people say about him. i think that's a good rule for all of us to follow in life, and i think this news about the election is just breaking now, so it is hard to know what happened and what didn't happen. emily: what about the idea that rex tillerson could be secretary of state, the ceo of exxon and
someone with strong, friendly ties to russia and president putin? bill: again, he is not secretary of state, trump is not president yet, and that has not happened. exxon mobil is a giant corporation, it takes responsibility to run a corporation like that, and i wouldn't judge. i try not to corral people into what they can be as to what they have been. and i would rather wait and see. the proof is in the pudding. emily: ok so, trump has said that climate change is a hoax, and you are somebody that i know is very passionate about clean energy. the latest is that rick perry is the top candidate for energy secretary. do you have any concerns about the future of clean energy? bill: yeah, i have concerns. they go beyond that. but i think, you know, rick perry, who i do not know personally, but the governor of a very large state, and energy producing state, he is not in the position yet. i do not know if he has been officially picks. emily: not official. bill: yeah, so i don't -- it's probably not worth speculating
too much, because part of the problem for me has been turning everything into fantasy football and a sporting event and making judgments when nothing has happened yet. so i definitely have concerns and would like to see clean energy advance, but i think bill gates had a great announcement just in the last 24 hours about that. emily: in many ways, some of this has not happened, but there has been a lot of tweeting going on. bill: i am not a tweeter, i don't look at twitter. i think we would all be healthier if that was the case. emily: bill gates, jack ma, jeff bezos, john doerr are now backing this clean energy fund. do you think that this fund will actually move the needle in an area that has been slow to have big exits? bill: i hope so. i know all of them and i admire them. and i think bill gates, in
particular has a kind of amazing track record, especially in health care -- helping to rid the world of polio, on the way to hopefully doing the same thing with malaria. if he can do the same thing in energy that he did with health care that would be fantastic. emily: you are on track to close this week. and then said, actually, i am not going to do that. bill: i did this crazy thing called changing my mind. it is wild, i know, but i did it. you know, i left hundreds of millions of dollars behind, but i did it because i feel like there are a lot of venture funds right now in the valley. every couple of days i see new announcements of new funds. i felt like after 10 years in the business, or close to it, there might be other ways to have a bigger impact on some of the problems that i think are worth tackling. emily: now initially i know it was a $300 million fund to a $500 million fund, did you have any trouble raising the funds that you wanted?
bill: this is -- no. this is a time where there is tremendous capital available, especially if you have a track record. and that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do, so there is, interest rates are low, people are looking for -- institutions are looking for places to deploy money, venture is one of those places, but it is almost overfunded, peak vc. emily: you were planning on doing this on your own. i am curious why? if there are so many other funds out there, why couldn't you do it differently? bill: i did that once. i started at a place called google ventures. virtually everything i have done in my life apart from having a child, i have done alone or started it alone. and then i was fortunate to build an amazing team at google ventures. i feel like they are doing an outstanding job, there are lots of funds in the valley, but there are problems. i don't know if being a professional vc, that the world needs yet another venture fund right now. emily: do you think we are in a
bubble? do you think we are at peak vc? where are we? bill: i think we are in a huge bubble. i think the election is a testament to that. there is almost too much capital available to investors, making too much capital available to on task entrepreneurs, wit -- available to entrepreneurs, which raises prices, raises expectations, and there are a lot of people working on what i think of as trivial problems as opposed to the real problems the country faces. emily: what are the trivial problems? bill: do we need another more optimized advertising system to further consumer culture that is based around the consumption of goods and services? there needs to be some balance i think. emily: how does this play out if there's some sort of catastrophe or disaster? bill: it depends on how you define it. maybe those are good things to happen. i think what happens is ultimately interest rates go up and sometime soon. as a result, the stock market corrects 1000 or more points,
and the pendulum swing the other -- will swing the other way. capital will become harder to come by, there will be an overreaction and it will seem like armageddon when it is not that. it is just part of the natural business cycle, and i think we are overdue for that kind of correction. emily: who is in for a wake-up call? bill: i think a lot of us got a wake-up call in november, but i think you will see a lot of startups that were overfunded or overly optimistic not able to raise future rounds. emily: now, i am curious about why you left google, and i wonder, do you think that vc can't really be done from inside a big tech company very well? bill: i hope my last 10 years proves it can be. emily: so you think that model works? there is nothing flawed about it? bill: i think it worked. my last day was august 12, and beyond that, it is very difficult. running a venture fund is very difficult. doing it inside a massive corporation is also difficult,
but it was successful. but i think creating the same model outside of google, i'm not sure that, it did not feel that inspiring at the end of the day, which is why i pulled the plug. emily: that was gv founder bill maris. still ahead, one year after taking over the helm at did, ceo gary lu is moving on to alibaba south china morning post. we will hear from him this hour. if you like bloomberg news, check us out on the radio. you can listen on the bloomberg radio app, bloomberg.com, and in the u.s. on sirius xm. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
emily: in the latest tech revolving door, changes at the top of facebook's virtual reality unit, oculus. the ceo is stepping down as the company divides into two groups. one is the desktop vr and the oculus rift headset, and the other will focus on mobile vr like what they developed for samsung. in a statement he said, i really miss the deep day-to-day involvement in building a brand-new product. with this new role, i can dive back to product development. the facebook cto will lead the search for a new oculus ceo. the oculus founder will also be moving to an undisclosed new role. this week, yahoo! disclosed a second major security breach that may have affected more than
a billion users. the company said it has not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft by a third party in august 2013. it is important to clarify that this is a separate hack from the one that yahoo! announced in september, in which as many as 500 user accounts were compromised. this update ahead of the mainsail to verizon. we caught up with a reporter from bloomberg news. jordan: yahoo! just announced 500 million account breach, and they brought in forensic experts, they scoured the network, and put out regulatory findings. this is a second breach. they way they learned about this was very interesting. an outside cyber security researcher saw this for sale on kind of the black market in a very private discussion forum. the fact that yahoo! lost a billion accounts, they have a billion users. it may not be a one for one match, but it is basically all their users.
this is potentially a really significant blow to the verizon deal because that is all their users. emily: they indicated the one in september was state-sponsored, and that there might be some sort of state-sponsored involvement here. jordan: it is a huge source of debate, because yahoo! said the first breach they believed was state-sponsored. they provided no evidence for that, and we reported that sources familiar with the case that that solution is not ironclad. the implication is that yahoo! would have reason to say that. to help preserve this deal. this one appears to be kind of a straight cybercrime operation. and so the fact that yahoo! scoured the network and it did not find his earlier breach without an outside security firm bringing it to them, should raise questions on how well this company secured their network. emily: talk to me a little bit more about what you see that is different about this breach than the one before? jordan: they're talking about more records. the passwords that were leaked
were secured with an encryption algorithm. it is very crackable, like a dictionary could penetrate that. the other was they were encrypted anymore secure algorithm. so this had less secure encryption algorithm, and the company did not know. they have been scouring every piece of their network. emily: there was concern the deal with verizon was already on the rocks because of the initial hack that they told us about in september. aol ceo tim armstrong said he was cautiously optimistic the deal would go through. what does this mean for the deal now? jordan: big, open question. because it is not just about user accounts. that is the thing yahoo! has to deal would go through. disclose publicly, but internally, they stole user accounts, what intellectual property from the company did they also steal, if any? that is a question for verizon,
because if you lost all of your user accounts and potentially significant corporate intellectual property, what are you paying close to $5 billion for? verizon has said they believed the breach is material, giving them license to potentially negotiate downward or walk away. emily: and quickly, yahoo! has said users should change their passwords, but now it is three years later. what can be done? isn't the damage done? jordan: the damage has been done. this has been trafficked in cybercrime circles for three years. that means the hackers have been using yahoo! users accounts to send spam. they have been using it for identity theft. telling people to change passwords now is a good practice, but is a long time to let your users fly in the wind. emily: that was jordan robertson of "bloomberg technology." in another edition of "out of this world," a delay for spacex. the company has officially postponed the first manned flight of its dragon vehicle. it was planned for late 2017, but now pushed to may 2018.
this is the capsule that spacex is building to take nasa astronauts to and from the international space station. part of the agency's plan to fly astronauts on american made rockets once again. there had been speculation the flight would be delayed after the falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad. spacex adjusted its timeline and will finalize its investigation into the falcon 9 accident. still ahead, and venture capitalists weigh in on bill gates recently meeting with president-elect trump and tech leaders, and what needs to change in u.s. energy policy, next. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
emily: welcome back to "best of relations between washington and beijing remain strained after a drone was in a gray area. china says it was near a stretch of see claimed by several countries. donald trump tweeted that beijing should keep the drone. japan posted a trade surplus for a third straight month in november as imports continued to fall faster than exports. shipments overseas declined at the slowest pace since 2015. exports fell 0.1% last month
from a year earlier. nintendo tumbling as super mario run earned just lukewarm reviews. the stock slumped almost 5%, extending losses since the game's arrival. the title is currently only available on apple devices. justs an average rating of 2.5 stars out of five. the force remains strong with disney after "rogue one" posted the second biggest december opening weekend ever. "rogue one" collected an million in175 theaters in the u.s. and canada and disney says it took $290 million worldwide. it debuts in south korea next week and in china on january 6. global news 24 hours a day powered by more than 2600 journalists and analysts in 120 countries. let's look at markets in the asia-pacific session today.
juliette: it is a little bit of a mixed session. a lot of weakness in hong kong today. the hang seng down 0.8%. chinese stocks on track for their worst close in around a month. construction stocks under quite a bit of pressure. fairly flat on the shanghai and the kospi in korea. seeing a little turnaround on the nikkei in late trade. only down by around 0.1%. australia has had a good session, finishing higher by 0.5%. new zealand also finished monday higher, up 0.4%. quite a bit of weakness coming through from some of the emerging markets today. thailand is pretty flat. the other big story is in the currency market. the malaysian ringgit holding at its weakest level against the dollar since the 1998 financial
crisis. has been even weaker than that during the session. one of the only currencies to book the trend. we are seeing a little weakness coming through. we are live in london at the top of the hour. this is bloomberg. emily: welcome back to "best of bloomberg technology". i am emily chang. back to our top story of the week, president-elect donald trump held a meeting wednesday with some of the most powerful ceos in the tech world. ceo's in the tech world. trump says he wants to "keep innovation going" and mentioned dropping trade restrictions. vinod khosla, founder of khosla ventures joined us to discuss the possible changes the trump administration might bring. he was also the inventor of sun microsystems, and he has made big bets on major shifts in consumer enterprise technology. take a listen. vinod: it is important to build bridges with the new administration.
i think that is important. it is too early to tell what the policies will be. they will be significant areas where we agree, and areas where there will be some disagreement. emily: amazon ceo jeff bezos told us the meeting was very productive. you and i spoke before the election. i know you were not a donald trump supporter. what are your biggest concerns with the trump administration? vinod: the area that needs the most conversation is around climate change and clean technologies. i suspect we will have relatively good agreement on things like skilled immigration, taxes needs to be addressed, but that address applies more to the larger companies like amazon and google and apple. there will be smaller company issues around skilled immigration into this country.
it is important to innovation, but i do believe for the new administration and silicon valley, very focused on innovation and what accelerates it. emily: bill gates also met with donald trump yesterday. let's take a listen to what he had to say. bill gates: we had a good conversation about innovation, how it can help in health, education, impact of foreign aid and energy, and a wide-ranging conversation about the power of innovation. emily: now gary swisher of recode wrote an op-ed saying these tech leaders should not be meeting with donald trump. in fact, they should be ashamed of themselves because of what he has said about the tech sector and actual attacks he has made on companies from apple to amazon. what do you think about that idea? vinod: well, i think 50 million people or so voted for trump,
and i think we have to recognize that that happened. and today, we need to work together and find what is the right bridges to build together that meet both of our needs. emily: peter thiel was sitting next to donald trump in this meeting. he was very influential in getting these folks together. he is a contrarian and not shy about speaking his mind like yourself, vinod, however his views differ from a lot of folks in silicon valley. how do you feel about him being the voice in trump's ear on technology? vinod: i think peter is focused on innovation and capitalism, he is very focused on less regulation, all of which jives with what the tech industry would like to see. i mostly tend to agree with peter on many of these issues. there are other issues where he has a different view, and i think that is true any time there are more than two people
with strong opinions. emily: now, i want to get your thoughts on some of the cabinet picks. rick perry for the department of energy -- this is a department that he famously wanted to cut, but could not remember the name of. also, rex tillerson, ceo of the biggest oil company in the world who has ties to russia for secretary of state. what you make of these choices? vinod: well, they have previously spoken out against clean technologies and climate change issues. that is a little worrisome. i was on a panel a couple of years ago with rex tillerson. we had different views and the degree of risk it was, and as he said, he's willing to pay less of an insurance premium to manage that risk than i might be willing to. i think that's a great starting
place for a dialogue, what is the level of risk, and what level of insurance or remedial action should we take? emily: speaking of energy, you are part of a new $1 billion investment fund focused on clean tech with bill gates, jack ma, john doerr, jeff bezos. talk to us about what you want this to accomplish. vinod: i think we need a lot more energy and low carbon technology, whether it applies in agriculture, in buildings, in transportation or in electric power. that takes a long view, and investors who are willing to take high technological risks on breakthrough technologies. i think the purpose of the fund is to make both those happen, and if they do, i think there is less competition in that area
and lots of economic opportunity to create very large businesses. emily: so what kind of investments do you expect this fund to make? vinod: well, bill gates has talked about solar fuels, how he turned solar energy not into electricity but fuel for trucks and airplanes. that is a good example of a very high risk technology, but with a lot of potential. there is many others. nuclear is an area that is very promising, water, new kinds of building strategies for building construction, all of those are promising areas and breakthroughs could result in significantly better economics. i do believe enough technologies exist to have unsubsidized market competitiveness. unfortunately, too many of the clean technologies get associated with subsidies that is not necessarily required in every area. emily: let's talk about this, because last time you and i spoke, you said it is time to subsidizing wind, it is time to stop subsidizing solar.
would you -- do you continue to believe that now that we have a president-elect who may not believe that climate change is real? vinod: well, i think it is our job to educate him not on whether climate change is real or not, but the degree of risk we have of catastrophic climate events becaused by climate change. it is a risk and risk management issue, and i think as a businessman, president-elect trump understands risks. emily: coming up, how venture capitalists are preparing for a trump presidency and where they are placing their bets. megan win, general partner from capital, joins us. plus, microsoft is taking a second shot at chat bots after shutting down its controversial bot earlier this year. we will test this new bot to see if it is more polite than its predecessor. that is next. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
emily: two top republican lawmakers offered strong support for u.s. intelligence officials in sharp contrast to president-elect donald trump who disputed reports that the russian government interfered in the election and actually tried to help him win. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan both praised intelligence agencies for taking on cyber threats from foreign governments, and there are new reports that russian president vladimir putin was personally involved in the hacks. the kremlin says the allegations are "absolute nonsense." well, silicon valley leaders went to new york wednesday to meet with president-elect trump, many who backed hillary clinton and did not hold back their disdain for trump. it was a chance for leaders to find common ground with the new administration after clashing on key issues.
one key question is, what trump's presidency will mean for global tech investment and how venture capitalists should be preparing for coming years. megan quinn, a general partner at spark capital, has joined us to discuss. she knows the landscape. spark has invested in companies like twitter and oculus. megan: if there is anything we know about donald trump, a lot of and certainty follows him. there has been a lot of discussion around this meeting tomorrow that will take place with various technology leaders. my view is that these people are accomplished, smart, successful people i hold an extraordinarily high regard, and we need to surround the cabinet with more people who are thoughtful, innovative speakers. emily: what you hope they convey? megan: i hope they find common ground around innovation. i don't know there is going to be specific topics they get to the bottom of in an hour-long meeting, but i hope they open up a dialogue between the president and silicon valley. emily: how are you digesting now, this at spark? what are you telling your portfolio companies?
there is a lot of uncertainty. there is a lot of wait-and-see. megan: it is a partnership, we are a partnership of individuals with our own viewpoints. we have all been internalizing this personally. in terms of what we advise our portfolio companies, it is to keep on keeping on. keep with the basics. focus on building great companies. focus on hiring great people and focus on building great products and businesses and really focus on your business. emily: you used to work at kleiner perkins, you focused on earlier stage. now you are with the growth fund. what is the difference when you're looking at growth stage companies versus early stage companies, and how has your own strategy shifted? megan: we really talk about inflection investing at spark. we are looking for companies that have found product-market fit and just need to put gasoline on the fire to become very big iconic companies. we are looking for metrics that we can point to without having to squeeze too hard to indicate
that inflection point has taken place. and that can be revenue, but it can also be users or an engagement. emily: do you think there is more competition at the growth stage now that the belt seems to be tightening at the earlier stage, and you know, it seems like a fewer number of companies are getting a larger pool of capital? megan: there is a tremendous amount of capital, and no surprise, everyone's capital is green, but we think there is a dearth of really wonderful investors who can add value at the growth stage. emily: bill marist just said we are in a huge bubble, peak vc, it can be bad for people. what are your thoughts on that? megan: we think if you're building an incredible company there will be plenty of capital, but the choice will be around finding a partner that is good for your business, not just blank checks wherever you can get them. emily: you announced an investment today and a company called pen though, $20 million. spark is traditionally a consumer focused firm, and this is an enterprise startup. what do we make of that decision? megan: yes. spark has a long history of investing in companies like twitter and oculus and tumblr.
there is this trend we are extremely excited about, typically called the consumerization of the enterprise. we expect as individuals for the products and services we use at work to look and feel like the products and services we use at home. that doesn't matter if we are -- in the product we use is behind a desk or behind a bar, we want in gauging products in the workforce. it is a fully integrated platform for enterprise companies to build better products for their end consumers. emily: what i find interesting about this company is they are based in raleigh, north carolina of all places. talk about getting outside the vortex. are you looking beyond silicon valley more often now to find those like diamonds in the rough? megan: we are always happy to get on a plane. i have the personal view that building a company outside the bay area bubble is actually a competitive advantage. they sit at the intersection of three very famous, very well-known universities, and have incredible access to talent at much cheaper cost. so, we consider that a positive when it comes to investing in a
place like raleigh. emily: where are you looking in 2017? where do you see yourself placing your bets given the uncertainty and the climate right now? megan: we are definitely going to ride out this macro shift. more consumer feeling products in the workplace. we have invested in mark 43 and now pendo, looking for the opportunity to bring really compelling, in gauging, delightful products for the work place. we tend to be founder driven. we are excited about applied ai. historically ai, machine learning development has been relegated to r&d departments. we are seeing products and services that consumers use. an example might being credit and risk scoring, and now with vast amounts of data, and they can learn over time. we are also excited personally about vr and ar in the enterprise. emily: microsoft is testing a new chat bot named zoe on the app kik.
this trial comes after several months when they tried out one named tay that they shut down when users got it to tweet inappropriate remarks. our bloomberg tech reporter tried out the new bot to see if it was more polite than its predecessor. >> a lot of people expected the way you interact will be with artificially intelligent bots. and microsoft with tay slightly backfired when they created this racist, nazi bot three months ago. they quietly tried again. they have one on the app kik called zoe. we will try it out. let's start with who is barack obama? "no, i am not talking about this with you." it sounds like something my parents would say when politics come up. maybe a sort of more intricate one. should we get rid of the
electoral college? "my boundaries are crossed pretty hard. so i am out." little wavy hands. i hope she continues to banter with me. one that is close to my heart, should britain leave the eu? "i have never been there" is her response. she is missing out, quite clearly. everybody should go there, especially now with the pound so cheap. this one is close to her herself. who is the ceo of microsoft? "i'm sure they are awesome, but we have not met yet." there is no program at microsoft getting in trouble for that one. final one for her then, former microsoft ceo, steve ballmer. do you like steve ballmer? oh, that is quite a good one. "i know they are associated with the company that made me, so i am excited to meet them." i think that is quite an interesting take away. she comments on him but not what is offensive to me. her comments on steve ballmer seems to toe the company line.
emily: alex webb. still ahead, google's self driving car unit hits the road as a stand-alone business in the alphabet family. and it gets a new name, waymo. why now? we will bring you the details. and a reminder all episodes of bloomberg tech now live streaming on twitter. check us out at bloomberg tv, 2:00 in san francisco. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
emily: google parent company alphabet has announced it is separating its car unit into a new unit called waymko within the alphabet family. the new ceo made the announcement on tuesday in san francisco. alphabet has been developing a -- autonomous vehicle technology for more than six years now in the google x research lab. what does it say about when we will see google self driving cars on the road officially? our reporter joins us. mark: they will probably have a
commercial product soon. they have been talking about graduating, which is a term they use for a stand-alone business. speaking of the delays, alphabet, google parent, is still figuring out the logistics and what it is like to build the stand-alone companies. emily: a lot of folks have been talking about how google has been working on this for years. they were the first of the big tech companies, and yet uber beat them to the market with self driving cars on the road in partnership with traditional automakers. but why has it taken so long? mark: if you talk to google they will say uber has sort of a self driving car. google is aspiring to fully driverless. you kind of step in, there is no steering wheel or brake pedals. and they are probably the most advanced moving towards that front, but it is still several years away.
emily: we have spoken to sebastian who invented the self driving car and worked at google on this project for a long time, take a listen to what he had to say about the constitution -- about the competition in this arena particularly for google, particularly when it comes to uber. sebastian: travis and others have been vocal about the fact that the self driving car came in a way that is threatening business. they are doing the right thing in investing in this technology, because he owns many companies right now, but if someone can offer the same services for half of the money, then he would be in trouble. emily: it is not only uber. you have tesla, traditional automakers investing heavily in this area. what makes google emily: it is not only uber. differentiated? mark: john talked about this this morning. we are backed by the most powerful computing company in the world. google is a differentiator in some ways that they have a profitable search business. and for uber and the carmakers, self driving tech is an existential issue.
google can -- can afford to play the long game. emily: he has been running the unit for over a year, former ceo of hyundai. comes from the traditional automakers side. there has been turnover in the business. chris arm strength who was running it before before it before sebastian running it before that. you wrote a big piece in business week about the turnover in alphabet in general. the fact that we have seen a lot of the leaders of the alphabet companies leave. why is this happening? is this another sign of wanting to clean up the balance sheet and make it clear who gets the resources and how much and why? emily: the founders are still -- mark: the founders are still very much involved. they want these companies to operate like startups. they want them to be scrappy and feisty. i talked to people who have left the team, and some of the frustration they have is the go to market strategy will change from month to month. they are still trying to find out what is viable for a
recurring revenue for a tech company looks like. emily: alibaba south china post -- morning post is set up for new leadership. jack ma, chairman of alibaba, bought the 113-year-old english publication. the move raised eyebrows, and critics had concern that alibaba would influence the outlook reporting. since the acquisition, the paper is focusing on all things digital. this includes carrying out his pay wall, mobile apps and preparing to integrate e-commerce. gary leo, incoming ceo of the south china post, joined us from new york. take a listen. gary: i think this position at the south china post and the opportunity we have there in the paper is really quite unique. the first thing is that it is one of the venerated news organizations of the world with 113 years of incredible heritage and history as a top-quality journalistic outlet. the second thing is that the south china morning post really occupies a critical and super unique position being the
english-language language newspaper of record for hong kong. that means that the paper gets to cover china with intimacy, but also objectivity, which will will be increasingly more and more important in the world. and the third thing it is deeply quite personal to me, as an asian american growing up in the western world, i understand there is a duality of views right now in the way that china is being covered. i am very excited about the opportunity to help bridge that gap in communication. emily: let's talk about a word you just mentioned, and that is objectivity. i lived in beijing, and we read the south china morning post, and it was perhaps the only paper that, you know, did not seem to be a mouthpiece for the chinese government. now that alibaba owns this paper, is that going to change? is the tradition of independence and free journalism at the south china morning post going to go away? gary: no, that has not changed and certainly will not change going forward. the owners, the senior executive
team and myself included, continue to be committed to editorial independence as well as editorial integrity. the south china morning post, with the 113 years of journalistic history, has over the course of that history, really covered china and hong kong and the region with objectivity. that won't change. emily: how are you going to deal with censorship issues? are you going to censor things that the chinese government does not want to hear? gary: no, not at all. being in hong kong is quite advantageous for us. because we are there, we have an intimacy to china, and we understand the nuance of reporting inside and outside of china. at the same time, because of the two systems, one country, two systems, press freedoms in hong kong continue to be protected by law, so we have the ability to continue to be fair and balanced. emily: have you spoken with jack ma, and what has he told you he wants from your leadership? gary: absolutely. both jack ma and joe psy are truly committed to the legacy of this paper, as well as the legacy of the news industry.
and so what they are looking forward to is our ability to translate that 113 years of heritage onto the new platforms and the new kind of scale that the internet allows us as a news organization to access. emily: look, we have had similar conversations when jeff bezos the ceo of amazon took over the washington post, but what about the potential for conflicts of interest to arise between the business of alibaba and this reporting of the south china morning post? how will you navigate that line? gary: i think jack and joe have been adamant in the press and with our internal team that the south china post covers alibaba just like any other company, and we continue absolutely to be committed to that. emily: that does it for this edition of "best of bloomberg technology". we will bring you the latest in tech throughout the week, tune in each day. 5:00 p.m. in new york, 2:00 p.m. in san francisco. this monday, we will speak about softbank's investment and
>> strategic composure. china's leaders stay silent over a u.s. drone dispute as china trump's and experience could lead to confrontation. losses on the rattled relations. says it is dudley time to start growing as it strikes at $2.2 billion deal with abu dhabi. through soworked many difficulties in the u.s. that i think the company is now well positioned for growth towards the end of the decade. anna: brexit warning. scotland's first minister warns