Apple Vs. Google, Genome Sequencing Goes Commercial, and More OVP Predictions for 2010

12/18/09Follow @gthuang

All this week, the venture capitalists over at OVP Venture Partners in Kirkland, WA, have been posting their thoughts on 2009—such as the biggest surprises in tech and life sciences—as well as their predictions for 2010. It’s a common theme these days, sure, but it’s always fun to get VCs on the record about such things.

Here are a few observations that jumped out at me:

—Chad Waite is as amazed as I am that Facebook has so rapidly become a mainstream means of communication, “in spite of NO visible business model.” (I think “visible” is the key word there.) He predicts that in 2010, there will be thousands of complete human genome sequences compiled, as the field goes commercial.

—Rick LeFaivre was surprised by the “vehemence of the negative reaction” from people opposed to both U.S. healthcare reform and energy legislation this year. He remains optimistic that “comprehensive” legislation will be passed in 2010 in both areas. The latter “would put the U.S. on a path towards energy independence and environmental sustainability,” he writes.

—Gerry Langeler noted with surprise the fast rise of Android-based phones, and says we might end up seeing a fundamental Google vs. Apple dynamic in the mobile space, somewhat like PC vs. Mac. He also thinks the iPhone’s “lead in applications won’t last that long.”

—Carl Weissman says the economic recovery has taken longer than he expected, given the current transparency of government and financial institutions. “All of us could see on a real-time basis the reaction of the government and the banks and the financial infrastructure to the crisis, and whether you agreed politically or not, there was little doubt that heroic efforts were being made to ensure the stability of the system,” he writes. “This created confidence, no matter how tenuous, and has allowed money and credit to flow, albeit cautiously, on a time scale that is orders of magnitude faster than in the Great Depression. My surprise is that the underlying structural weakness has been sufficient to keep the recovery modest.”

Lastly, Weissman gave my beloved Red Sox the kiss of death by predicting they’d win the 2010 World Series. What is it with Seattle investors and Boston sports teams? (Andy Sack already jinxed the Patriots here.) Leave my teams out of it, will ya?

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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  • Krassen Dimitrov kr

    Mr Huang,
    As the Founder of Nanostring Technologies I have dealt extensively with Chad Waite and can assure you that he knows nothing about genomics; you are doing disservice to your readers by copying his gibberish here.
    Human gene sequencing has been commercial for more than 20 years and there have been hundreds of thousands of “complete human gene sequences compiled”. Perhaps you can ask Luke about this, who has been covering biotech for many years and would know the difference between gene and genome, as would most any high-school student in the Seattle area. Just because they shovel indiscriminately other people’s money into science-intensive startups, don’t assume that OVP has any basic scientific literacy.

  • http://www.xconomy.com/author/ghuang/ Gregory T. Huang

    Krassen,
    Thanks for alerting me to the gene/genome typo. I’ve corrected it above.

    Greg

  • Krassen Dimitrov

    Sure, but the OVP blog has not corrected it yet, even though I sent them e-mail. So you are paraphrasing what Waite said, changing the meaning completely. That’s (a) funny, and (b)not what journalists usually do. Bob Buderi had assured me before that Xconomy is not a PR-shop for local VCs, yet you are acting like one now.