ROGER MCNAMEE: I Passed On Investing In Twitter Because Management Was A Bunch Of Know-It-Alls

Roger McNamee

Photo: Bloomerg Television

Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners says he passed up on investing in Twitter because of “irreconcilable differences on philosophy” with the company’s management.He has been on Bloomberg TV all morning, mostly yakking about how he thinks HTML5 is a big deal for tech companies in the future.

The conversation turned to Twitter, and McNamee said he didn’t invest years ago because the company’s management “thought they knew all the answers.”

Elevation manages $2 billion, and it has a small portfolio of eight companies. McNamee said he tries to be selective about his investment choices, and only goes where a startup values Elevation’s input.

Apparently, Twitter did not.

He added that Elevation’s partners include Apple’s CFO and the guy who built OS X. If you work with Elevation, you work with the people that “built the world’s most successful company,” says McNamee.

He still thinks Twitter is going to be a successful company. He just didn’t get along with the people at the top.

It’s important to note that McNamee says he chose to invest in Yelp and Facebook instead of Twitter. Elevation made its Yelp investment in January 2010. Twitter’s management has completely changed since then.

UPDATE: Here’s a full transcript from Bloomberg:

“We had chance to invest in two companies I thought would be permanently important, which is to say Facebook and Yelp. I just had conflicts with the management from a style point of view.  I blew Groupon. That was my mistake. I wish I had done it. I think we might have been able to help them. Twitter, I just had irreconcilable differences in philosophy with the management. Same thing with Zynga. The truth is, there are more important things than making money…I just did not think I could help those companies. I thought they would be successful and investors would make money…my partners are the former CFO of Apple and the guy who made OS X. At Elevation, if you work with us, you are working with people who built some of the most successful tech companies in the world. We want to get involved in places where they value that. The problem at Twitter, they thought they knew all the answers.”

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