Did you see Friday’s CNBC interview with the Winklevoss Twins about them becoming the latest people to jump on the venture capital tech band wagon?
Most of us would be most familiar with them from the film about Facebook, The social network. According to them, they were the ones who came up with the concept for Facebook (then called HarvardConnection) and had asked Mark Zucherberg to coding work on it for them. Of course the Zuch had other ideas and the rest is history.
They were on CNBC to talk about entering the world of venture capital and how they were looking for early stage disruptive start ups for them to add …well capital as well as “considerable operational experience”.
Disruptive seems to be a sexy term thrown around quiet a lot now meaning anything from way a head of the competition to a brand new type of product.
I have to say the Winkle twins don’t come with a great reputation and didn’t really strike me as if they were at the fore front of the tech industry. Their answers seemed rehearsed and it is possible that they had a private game going on to see how many times they could fit paradigm shift into the interview.
In an absolute cracker of a line the former Harvard president Larry Summers said of the Twins
“One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.”
The two competed at the Beijing Olympics in rowing and no doubt have got huge drive. But they strike me as a pair that always got what ever they wanted, with their chiseled good looks and rich up bringing.
They studied economics at Harvard and then Business at Oxford so not exactly the tech whiizzes you might expect to become venture capitalists.
Having said that they learned HTML at an early age and had their own web company at 13. They did come up with some version of a social network that Facebook evolved from and as they said ” we were there from the start of Web 2.0″
Probably most importantly though is the boat load of cash they got from using Facebook. The New York Times reported that their equity of Facebook shares were trading at $76 per share in the secondary market, putting the total settlement value at close to $120 million.
Overall the interview didn’t reveal much other than the fact that the host were falling over themselves to lick up to the twins.
They said they couldn’t reveal much about their investments at this time, but admitted that they were in talks with cloud computing company Yottabyte. Interesting the Twins were able to confirm that the company wasn’t named after star wars legend Yoda, but didn’t seem to be aware that Yottabyte was a unit of measurement in the computer world.