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So, I asked the legendary Israeli investor Yossi Vardi, is the boom in social finished?
“Social didn’t run out of steam since the birth of civilization,” Yossi shot back. We were, appropriately enough, in the very cradle of civilization, in Athens, at Stream, the annual unconference that Yossi and Sir Martin Sorrell jointly host each year. And Yossi, who of course was the original investor in ICQ, was as bullish on social as he’s ever been, predicting to me that social television would be the next major “paradigm shift” over the next three or four years.
Having already achieved three exits from investments with Answers.com, Wibiya and the eBay acquisition The Gifts Project, Yossi is having a super year. Thus, in spite of his hilariously bad Jewish mother jokes and his habit of lying like a Greek goddess on the grass, it is never wise to completely disregard Yossi. So is he right – is social TV the next big thing?
One technical note. If Yossi looks a bit blurry to you in this interview, you don’t need glasses. I had a camera malfunction in Athens and thus Yossi – or at least his well-defined face – is lacking a bit of focus. Apologies on this. Next year, I’ll learn how to adjust the focus on my expensive camera.
Yossi Vardi is an Israeli investor most famous for being the original investor in ICQ - the first Internet-wide instant messaging system. Vardi has invested in over 50 tech companies in diverse areas of software, energy, Internet, mobile, cleantech, and others.Vardi has been an active civil servant in Israel through projects involving energy and infrastructure. He also co-founded Alon, an Israeli oil company. Vardi acted as an advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program on...
Andrew Keen is an Anglo-American entrepreneur, writer, broadcaster and public speaker. He is the author of the international hit “Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing our Culture” which has been published in 17 different languages and was short-listed for the Higham’s Business Technology Book of the Year award. As a pioneering Silicon Valley based Internet entrepreneur, Andrew founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and built it into a popular first generation Internet music company. He is currently the...
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