Roger McNamee Thinks Google Should Build A Chrome Phone, And Twitter Is Being Run Into The Ground

Roger McNamee

Photo: Bloomerg Television

Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners thinks that Android’s business model is hopelessly broken — nobody is making any money from it.The only way Google can win in smartphones, he thinks, is by putting all of Motorola’s resources into building a phone based on the other Google operating system, Chrome OS, which he calls “a really high-end OS.”

As he put it on Bloomberg Television tonight, “Apple has larger gross margin than Android has gross revenue. The largest Android phone has less than a fifth of the iPhone’s volume….I would make Motorola focus everything on making the world’s greatest Chrome OS phone.”

McNamee is always an iconoclast, but he was in rare form tonight, throwing all kinds of bombs. For instance:

  • “Apple’s best days as a stock are behind it,” even though Apple as a company still has a bright future, and the iPad will define the future of computing. “Any kid under the age of 7 thinks that’s a computer. That’s their sum definition of a computer.” (Regarding the stock, he seems to simply be stating the law of large numbers — it’s very hard to double your size when you’re already worth $500 billion.)
  • The Kindle Fire is a “really slow, really expensive way of doing things.”
  • Microsoft’s mobile strategy has no hope. The only way it could win is it if built its own phone based on Windows 8. Integrated hardware, software, and services will win.
  • Dell’s Windows 8 tablets won’t do anything. “How many times do you need to make the same mistake?”
  • Skype could be great if only someone would treat it as an actual product and think of it as the world’s largest telco, capable of reaching 800 million people.
  • Twitter is like Pointcast from the dot-com era: “A great, great, great idea just being destroyed by a lack of focus and a lack of cohesion. It’s tragic.” He thinks that Twitter needs an emergency focus on user experience and should “stop trying to do Sponsored Tweets — it’s a stupid idea.”

So what does he like?

He’s basically looking for the next Adobe, circa 1984. “They owned a critical piece of enabling technology they could give away in exchange for selling the apps that allow you to leverage the thing.” He’s also bullish on HTML5, which lets companies build interactive Web apps that can (in theory) work on any platform.

Here’s the full interview, courtesy of Bloomberg Television:

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