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Myhrvold on selected Digerati: The Chef
On Selected Digerati

ON STEWART ALSOP: At one of his conferences, Stewart was talking to someone and got him pissed off. The guy walked off in a huff, and Stewart turned around to me and said, "Well, I guess they don't come here because I'm just nice to them and say what they want to hear." I said, "well Stewart, you're enormously lucky to have found an industry that, not only tolerates you, it richly rewards you for being that way".

One thing I'm fascinated to find out is how Stewart likes being a venture capitalist.

ON JOHN PERRY BARLOW: John is entertaining as hell. It's fortunate that this Internet thing came along, because being an outrageous rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist was clearly not as exciting going forward as this promises to be. He's got a new cause to champion. I think he loves being outrageous.

ON STEWART BRAND: I love Stewart. Stewart has been surfing at the edge of culture, and the edge of ideas that are forming culture, for longer than any of us, and he has a wisdom that comes from that you don't see in so many of the people that don't have that perspective.

ON JOHN DOERR: John's a fascinating guy. You wonder what would happen to poor John if he had been born in an era where you couldn't use email and cellular telephony. Imagine John firing off all his missives by pony express! It would have been very frustrating to somebody like him.

Clearly he's an enormously successful venture capitalist. He has started dozens of companies that have gone on to be successful - and a few that haven't, but that's kind of part of the game.

Archetype? Hard to say. I saw somebody had suggested Matchmaker; that's probably sounds a little more appropriate to me than Coach. But it's some combination of the two.

ON ESTHER DYSON: Esther is a great pattern recognizer. Some of the patterns she has recognized haven't panned out, or panned out in unusual ways. I'm amused that her Eastern Europe conference is held in Portugal this year because the Eastern Europeans told her they wanted to go someplace warm.

ON DANNY HILLIS: Danny is a great example of the brilliant MIT hacker. At one point 80% of computing was the brilliant MIT hacker - these days it's broadened, but Danny is still the key example of that.

ON JARON LANIER: Someone forwarded a piece of mail from him saying it was charming. I also concluded that it was charming, but I didn't agree with a word of it. That applies not only to the mail but maybe to many aspects of Jaron: I don't agree with a lot of what he says, but he is charming and brilliant.

ON JOHN MARKOFF: He embodies some of the best of both journalism skills and understanding, There are very few people who have both who write about the industry. In fact, most people who understand the industry well enough just get involved with it directly John's missing out by just writing about it.

ON SCOTT McNEALY: The best thing I can say about Scott is something he said about himself which was recently quoted in the press. Someone asked him a technical question and he said, "I don't know, I'm not a computer scientist. I majored in golf". You know something? I bet he did.

ON PAUL SAFFO: Oracle's a good archetype for him. The oracles of old would say things that were incredibly prophetic and they would also say a lot of stuff that was hard to interpret. Saffo isn't alone here. It comes with being in the futurist business.

ON RUSS SIEGELMAN: He's the Doer, because he does things. He implements and runs. We'd love to have Russ back working at Microsoft. He's incredibly focussed and incredibly great at implementing things. Maybe the Builder would be another one.

ON LINDA STONE: Linda is just amazing she is a force to be reckoned with. I first heard about Linda when my brother was head of evangelism for Microsoft, and Linda was doing evangelism for Apple, and was enormously successful. I asked him what army of people Apple had to get such great treatment, especially given Apple's many sins. He replied "it's an army all right but a one-person army. Her name is Linda Stone."


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