Why Invest in the `Unsexy' Side of Tech?

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Michael "Mike" Abbott, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers discusses the tech industry with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Of focus which is enterprise focus.

You've even said these are unsexy companies but how is investing in something more unsexy makes your job difficult or actually easier?

As an engineer, it's more fun to look at things that are solving real problems, and regardless whether it happen to to be sexy or not.

A lot of the things i look at are as a team and oftentimes it's teams of engineers with maybe one designer, maybe no designers.

But does this group of folks have a vision around solving a particular problem or based on some trend and he or she wants to realize that.

What are the trends in enterprise infrastructure?

I've been spending time around a label called big data which i cringe when i say it, having started companies in that space.

But there are a lot of things going on there where companies have invested in basically really efficient ways to store data and have invested around companies called analytics and now we're seeing applications emerge.

How do you use the big data?

How will i use it and there are two trends that are interesting there, one is the verticalization of applications and we invested in zpephir recently in the health care segment.

And when we built an app, there was not much data a system like that could be built on and today we have more information and i'm looking to see how does that stack get rebuilt or reimagined with the amount of information we're collecting.

Last year enterprise companies sort of became the popular kids on the block and you had companies getting attention with strong i.p.o.'s but towards the end of the year consumer tech companies had a rebirth, twitter went public and has been doing very well.

What's it going to define this year in enterprise versus consumer technology?

I probably spend 25% in enterprise and 75% in consumer.

I'm really bullish on this year.

In the enterprise side one thing that's interesting is a lot of these large public companies have large cash holdings so i wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot of m & a activity but remains to be seen where and what strategy but we saw a lot of it in 2013 as well.

On the consumer side i'm interested in this recent innovation of genome sequencing.

I think there's applications in the consumer or more back office digital help but now we can start sequencing entire genomes for $1,000 and generating more data than we can handle but comes the same problem how do we extract knowledge from that data.

And there have been problems running into the f.d.a. and will it prevent innovation in that area?

If the trend were interested in tracking and saying how do we make the right bets?

On the consumer side what do you think of snap chat especially in the context of twitter and facebook?

Is it a real threat?

Is it a fad or here to stay, this whole idea of the impermanence of information, not everything needs to be on the internet forever.

I think the concept of ephemeral content it here to stay and snap chat has done a phenomenal job pioneering that.

And when i saw snap chat i didn't understand the service entirely and it really is a communication tool and is around having these short-lived pieces of content.

It's hard to say, is this a backlash to a lot of the long-lived content we have today?

But i would anticipate you see other services both in the enterprise and the consumer around this kind of ephemeral short-lived contact.

Not everyone wants every piece of content to live forever.

It is harder or easier to work at a company at snap chat where the data disappears?

It's a different technical problem and interesting scaling challenges.

I would imagine as an engineer it would be fun to work there the same way it's fun to work at twitter or facebook.

But i think the product aspect is different.

Now you're thinking of the psychology of how long should you actually let people see it?

Are you capturing some of those metrics back to the service?


And then you start leading into some policy and other questions.

Fascinating chat, mike abbott of kleine and perkins.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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