Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

Archive for the ‘Microsoft Office’ tag

Intel Capital Global Summit 2011 concluded yesterday

with one comment

Kevin Warnock at Intel Capital CEO Summit 2009

Kevin Warnock at Intel Capital CEO Summit 2009

This week Intel Capital held its Global Summit for its Portfolio Companies. This event used to be called the Intel Capital CEO Summit, and I attended in 2008 and 2009 since my company Silveroffice, Inc. is an Intel Capital Portfolio Company. I did not attend this year because only select Portfolio Companies are invited, and I was not invited this year.

I am not upset or complaining however! Frankly, Silveroffice doesn’t deserve an invitation this year because it has been mostly dormant while I work on other projects in life.

I have committed to making Silveroffice a success, and I’m working on it strenuously again, for the first time in years. I have a renewed vision and passion for the company, one that will involve a complete rewrite of the software on a new platform. I am firing on all cylinders again after taking my foot off the accelerator for an extended period of deceleration.

I feel outstanding.

I remain in touch with people from Intel Capital, and perhaps one day I’ll be invited back to their Global Summit. But even if I’m not, I’ll fondly remember the fun I had at past events. In 2008 Intel Capital took over The Tonga Room restaurant at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel for breakfast, so I’ve eaten breakfast by The Tonga Room tropical lake, an unforgettable experience.

I got to meet and have several real conversations with musician and tech entrepreneur MC Hammer, in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 he remembered me from 2008. I’m certain of it because in 2009 I introduced my friend Gail Kantor, CEO of eJamming, also a Portfolio Company, to Hammer. Hammer looked at both of us and pointed at Kantor and said “You I haven’t met” and amazingly then pointed at me and said “You I have met.’ I only spoke with Hammer for perhaps 10 minutes the previous year, and we didn’t stay in touch, not even via social media. Hammer must meet thousands of people a year, and to be able to accurately remember me a year later after talking with me for such a short time was simply jaw dropping.

I recognize many tech entrepreneurs have met Hammer because he’s reputed to be a fixture at Silicon Valley events. But still it was fun to meet a real rock star and have dinner with him like I did in 2009.

I feel I let Intel Capital down by taking my foot off the Silveroffice, Inc. accelerator. They reached out to me to invite me to become a Portfolio Company. Part of my motivation to rebuild Silveroffice and make it a meaningful company again is to prove to Intel Capital that they did not misplace their confidence in me. This might seem like a silly reason, but I carefully debated accepting Intel Capital’s offer, and the negotiation of our deal took roughly a year to complete, so I have something invested, as do they. I started Silveroffice in 2003 so it is deeply a part of my life, and I enjoy working on it. Great things are to come, so stay tuned.

Silveroffice, Inc. doesn’t have a website, which is why the references above are not hyperlinks. Silveroffice created the first true online office suite, way back in 2004. It’s called gOffice. gOffice has been decimated in the marketplace by Google Apps and Zoho, but gOffice was number one in the world for over a year. If only some nice person would write a WikipediA¬†entry for gOffice, I would be so pleased…

If you write a WikipediA entry, don’t overlook that Microsoft lists gOffice by name in its 10K Annual Report as a competitor to Microsoft Office from 2006 through 2010. In 2011 Microsoft stopped naming in its annual report any of its online competitors to Microsoft Office, so that’s why gOffice doesn’t appear in their 2011 report.

Written by Kevin Warnock

November 17th, 2011 at 7:42 pm

The story of the Microsoft IPO, as told by Fortune

without comments

Fortune Magazine cover from 1986 featuring Microsoft IPO

Fortune Magazine cover from 1986 featuring Microsoft IPO

Inside the Deal That Made Bill Gates $350,000,000 is the title of a story by Fortune that covers what happened behind the scenes with the initial public offering of stock in Microsoft. Yes, that was in 1986, but these kinds of stories are not commonly ever made public, to my knowledge, so I thought I would make note of it here. I certainly learned something. For example, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun all went public within days of each other. Wow.

I remain a big believer in Microsoft, and I use Visual Studio, Windows Server, SQL Server and their Office software to run my company’s website, gOffice. Microsoft’s products are unfairly derided, in my view. Sure, I have my unhappy moments with their products a few times a year. But no other company makes an office suite as rich and genuinely powerful as Office. There is no way to substitute any other programs for Word and Excel for really serious work, because the macro language in Word and Excel lets you do almost anything. Online office products are terrible by comparison, including my company’s own gOffice product. Microsoft has thousands of smart people working on this stuff constantly, and it shows. Sure, the products could be better, but they’re already quite good today.

I think Microsoft will be around longer than Google.

Google doesn’t hold the monopoly power afforded Microsoft by its ownership of Office and to a lesser extent, Windows. People other than advertisers and website owners can stop using all of Google’s products without too much pain. But who can not use Excel for serious corporate work with others?

I recognize these are remarkably unpopular positions to take, but my job here is to tells things as I see them, not recite the popular viewpoint.

By the way, Microsoft considers gOffice a ‘competitor.’ I find this humorous given our tiny market position relative to theirs, but it is nice to see your company name in Microsoft’s 10K annual report for the most recent 5 years in a row. Don’t believe me? Look it up on the Microsoft website here.

gOffice has been depressingly and uncharacteristically quiet for years now, but all that will change this year, and I have modest but wildly realistic plans to revive the brand and product. Stay tuned.

One final crazy point: I think the market value of Facebook will eclipse that of Google and Microsoft, but probably only temporarily. Facebook has a tremendous network effect advantage that will be tough to break, and people really can’t substitute any other site for Facebook, since that’s the only site where all your friends are nearly certain to be.

Friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/kevinlwarnock to help prove the market power Facebook holds.

Written by Kevin Warnock

March 20th, 2011 at 5:00 am