Thursday, March 27

The Berkeley Gang

In Berkeley I catch up with friends I have known over 30 years - pictured. They all do interesting and different things. Otherwise my day is spent running between the East Bay and San Francisco with the afternoon anchored by BlueRun Ventures's AGM which reports good news. BRV invests in start-up companies and several present including a 24-year old fellow who has solved the Internet's high definition video compression problem (too much data for the pipes). He yawns while giving a demo which is convincing. Also on hand is a founder of slide, which BlueRun backed two years ago and is now the 9th most popular property on the Internet thanks to their "widgets" and partnerships with social networking sights like MySpace and Bebo. They did an "up round" last month with a pre-money valuation of $500 million thanks to Fidelty and T.R. Price and despite no revenues. While the mark-up is nice, we await cash. I stay at the Ritz Carlton, which does not compare with the Mandarin Oriental's views nor service, thank you very much.