The panellists gave some great answers with Anil from Google essentially acknowledging that the company should have been much quicker at spotting the potential of YouTube.
Ben Holmes from VC firm Index relayed an anecdote of how a VC had a meeting in Switzerland with an entrepreneur who had showed a website with a line you could click on to connect to another site. ‘It looks interesting said the VC – but what is the business model?’ Basically the VC had written off the World Wide Web.
Anil from Google admitted that ‘looking back we could have done deals earlier that would of have cost us a lot less. Then we wouldn’t have the tag of paying billions of dollars for companies. We would like to have identified YouTube and MySpace earlier in their growth cycle.’
He also acknowledged that ‘YouTube got the community aspects of video much more than we did.’
Finally in what scored the biggest chuckle of the day Yahoo’s Jonathan Wolf admitted that the key companies his company had missed out on were eBay and (cue huge guffaws) Google. [Ashley Norris]