On competing with Microsoft...
Marc is still amused by the fact that Microsoft used the code he developed at University of Illinois to create Internet Explorer in order to compete against Netscape.
On What he likes about the current Internet...
Microsoft announced Live Mesh at the event. As John Batelle pointed out - it is just Microsoft's version of "the cloud."
What is striking is that in the last five years is the pre-dominance of the browser. In fact IM traffic has been falling because IM use is moving to happen in the browser. Think Facebook chat, meebo and other browser-based platforms.
The Internet is splintering in a very positive way. Lots of new business models are emerging.
On the Yahoo - Microsoft deal...
It should be good for both companies. If the deal doesn't happen both companies will continue to do well.
on a recent quote...
"It is nice to have the funding for the coming nuclear winter"
The credit squeeze is having an impact on the total economy. It is making it difficult to get financing.
Growing at 10% per month. People are on Facebook and MySpace but realize that they want more focused social networks and turn to Ning for that.
Ning supports OpenSocial. It was Google's response to Facebook's bold move in creating the Facebook platform. At the same time Facebook is becoming more open.
Ning is a platform for building Social Networks. They have no plans for creating vertical markets. The default business model is a free version of Ning that is advertising supported and uses AdSense. Ning networks tends to be very focused which is good from an advertising standpoint.
On Microsoft and the influence of Bill Gates...
The standardization that occurred as a result of Microsoft has really enabled the industry as it exists today.
The mobile world in comparison has been held back the lack of standardization.
[Personal Note: The rise in popularity of WebKit as a mobile browser in the iPhone and Google's Android represents a significant opportunity to achieve a standard platform for the mobile world.]