Facebook, Cheryl, Google discussed on BTV Simulcast


News that Cheryl was leaving I take no joy in Sheryl Sandberg's resignation as COO of meta For me it's a really complicated situation because Cheryl was for many years a friend of mine and somebody I advised when she worked in the Clinton White House She was responsible for introducing me to my future business partner Bono And for that I'll always be incredibly grateful And I tried to reciprocate She came out to Silicon Valley in 2001 hung out in my office for a few weeks and I introduced her to John doerr who was on the board at Google which began the process of her going to work at Google and creating the Ed engine behind AdWords which obviously put Google on the map up economically So Sheryl and I were really close And when she made it clear to me that she was thinking about leaving Google I thought that Facebook was the right place for her And so I talked to mark about it for months And he definitely wanted a strong number two And I think he was trying to figure out in its own mind what factors would really matter But Cheryl had I thought two things that really were decisive The experience at Google was the closest you were ever going to get to the business problem faced at Facebook And secondly you know she had a maturity and an experience both in the political and the business realm but I thought would really complement Mark strings And keep in mind I think when she went there they had fewer than a 100 million users And so it was for me at least not possible at that time to imagine the kind of harm that eventually came out of Facebook In part because the business model that did the harm wouldn't be invented for another 5 years And so I look back on it and I go oh my God what could have been Cheryl was so talented You know she could have both made a very successful company at Google and been a hero for democracy and public health How could she have done that How could she have done that roger Well let's take a few simple examples So in 2017 Facebook was implicated by the United Nations In an ethnic cleansing that took place in Myanmar a country in Asia in which Facebook had no employees on the ground had almost no employees that spoke the language and they certainly had no expertise in either the politics or the culture of the country And it became clear that the product was being used by bad actors to instigate an ethnic cleansing And a different company a different group of people might have taken that as a warning It might have said you know we really shouldn't be doing business in countries where we don't have an economic interest in having people on the ground Or we're not willing to invest in the language where we're not willing to invest in the culture That kind of thing is super obvious The FBI warned Facebook in early 2019 that QAnon was a very dangerous extremist group And they weren't Facebook that there was a lot of recruiting going on on Facebook And Facebook ignored it between 2019 spring of 2019 the spring of 2020 about a one year period Roughly 2 million people were radicalized into QAnon on Facebook And again that's based on Facebook admitting that there were at least 3 million members of QAnon groups by 2020 And internal Facebook reports released by the whistleblower that showed that 64% of the time when people join in extremist group on Facebook It's Facebook recommended And so they were responsible for that Those are things that are different group of people Would have said you know what We don't want to be involved in that Because if they've taken action on QAnon they might have prevented the insurrection because the people who participated in the insurrection had been radicalized into QAnon first And again all of these things are about the culture of the company Do you prioritize the well-being of the people who use your product Do you prioritize the well-being of the people affected by your product And the reality was they viewed shareholder interest As the only thing that mattered and so when it came time to thinking about their users or the other people affected by it that just wasn't a consideration And that's certainly not unique to Facebook What was unique to Facebook was the impact that it could have on those people either in a pandemic or in an election cycle or related to some kind of extremist So clearly you think her legacy is complicated and I think many people would agree with you Let's talk about where Facebook or meta is now going I asked her about this pivot to the metaverse and whether having to create a whole new business model or evolve Facebook's current business model for a future that doesn't yet exist was one of the reasons she's leaving Take a listen to what she told me when we spoke We have a current business which is our current apps connecting customers to businesses And I think there's a lot of opportunity there right now but also over the long run And then the metaverse is a much longer term business opportunity And it's going to take some of the same form and I believe we will be a place and then the men of ours will be a place where businesses and consumers can act But I think the exact form that takes is something that will figure it out over the next number of years Much longer term How optimistic are you about meta realizing this future of the metaverse turning it into a business And what do you think the company looks like without Sheryl Sandberg as it moves towards this new but very uncertain future Emily I think Facebook's near term Is complicated enormously by apples application tracking transparency and whatever things that follow that which give iPhone users the ability to opt out of having their data shared with Facebook and others Facebook's already said that that's going to be a 10 million 10 $1 billion hit to revenue this year And it wouldn't shock me if the number got bigger than that because I don't think apple's done Secondly Instagram which is really been supporting the growth of the business is under assault from TikTok And I do think that TikTok is essentially locking Instagram into the group of users that has today by siphoning off all the new entrants into social media And that's really bad for Facebook's growth long term And then you get to the metaverse where I think Facebook's current concept of the metaverse is insane I mean to my mind virtual reality is a brilliant idea And if you focus narrow if you say focus on video games for example the opportunities are unlimited But the way Facebook's looking at it where they're essentially going to try to replace reality with a virtual reality across every possible domain entertainment work sports the whole 9 yards To me that's just that's never going to work And the amount of money they're spending on it today I just think it's certifiably insane If I were a shareholder I would be incensed about this because it's not that the metaverse is a terrible idea It's that their idea of the metaverse is a terrible idea And I don't think it matters how long they take They're just by the time they get there it won't be interesting Roger mcnamee elevation partners always great to have you here roger Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Take care Emily Thanks for having me now Coming up venture capital and Silicon Valley We're going to take a deep dive on the relationship between the two and whether the center of.

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