John Doerr believes in the social Internet. So much so that he's started a $250 million investment fund whose mission is "accelerate the success of these new kinds of social entrepreneurs." Actually, it's not just Doerr, it's his venture firm -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) -- and a group of Internet companies you may have heard of: Facebook, Amazon.com and Zynga. The "sFund" created by these partners will be led by KPCB's Bing Gordon, who said in a statement: “Social is just getting started and the opportunities are vast. As in the early days of the Internet, the race is on. Today every business, organization, and entrepreneur should have a social strategy.”
What follows are prepared statements from other participants in the fund meant to demonstrate their visionary chops. Let's see if anyone hits it out of the park: John Doerr: “We’re at the beginning of a new era for social Internet innovators who are re-imagining and re-inventing a Web of people and places, looking beyond documents and websites. There’s never been a better time than now to start a new social venture.” Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon: “Social apps are viral, and when they hit, it often happens suddenly, and then they grow explosively. That's one of the reasons the scalable, elastic, no capex, variable cost nature of Amazon Web Services is ideal for social apps.” Mark Zuckerberg: “The Web is being rebuilt around people, and we’re at a point where any app, website, or device can be designed to be social from the ground up. We’re focused on enabling entrepreneurs to build companies that can disrupt their industries.” Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga: “Zynga’s successes – such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars – show the speed with which entrepreneurs can transform existing industries and invent entirely new ones through social platforms. Our model demonstrates consumers’ desires to connect with others in new and valuable ways.” Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast: “Social businesses play an increasingly important role in our entertainment and communications products. We’re very pleased to be a part of the sFund and look forward to seeing the great innovations that are generated from its investments.” The Zynga guy and, to a lesser extent, Bezos turn their visionary quote opportunity into commercials for their companies. Instant disqualification. And the Comcast guy is just happy to be here. That really leaves the old pro -- Doerr -- and the kid. Both say good things, but in the end I've got to give the nod to Zuck. He mixes in details ("any app, website, or device can be designed to be social from the ground up") with exciting -- even dangerous -- notions ("enabling entrepreneurs to build companies that can disrupt their industries").
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.