Barry Diller: Startup Valuations Are “Mathematically Insane”

Barry Diller on a bicycle

Barry Diller was at a SXSW panel just a few minutes ago and we were following along on Twitter (who needs to fly to Austin?). The IAC chairman had quite a few new interesting things to say, and he didn’t mince words.

  • His review of the iPad 2? “It’s better.”
  • On The Daily: “Why did Rupert Murdoch put it out on the iPad, and then make it so hard to download?” (We concur.) More generally, the concept of an iPad magazine, Diller said, doesn’t make any sense. Media should be cross-platform.
  • On the internet and net neutrality: “The internet came together as a miracle, really.” “Anyone with a wire can publish, we need to keep it that way.” We should be “screaming” for net neutrality. Asking Netflix to pay more for bandwidth is like “asking a toaster manufacturer to pay for electricity.”
  • On startups: some valuations are “mathematically insane.” But, “all the money that’s going to be lost will be by people who can afford to lose it, so who cares?”
  • On Newsbeast: he’s not sure if it’ll work. “We’ll see in six to eight months.” “The readers will tell us if it’s successful or not.” Impressive humility.
  • On Hulu: “The predicament of Hulu’s owners is that they also want to kill Netflix.” (They would be inclined to kill Hulu, but then they’d lose out to Netflix.)

Also, we learned:

  • Diller’s wife Diane von Furstenberg plays Angry Birds.
  • Diller went on a segway tour of Austin, which must have been something to behold.

(All these quotes are pulled from Twitter search, so take their precise accuracy with a grain of salt, of course.)

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