Zillow co-founder Rich Barton thinks Seattle needs to do more to support its own technology products and entrepreneurial ventures, emulating the “high RPM spin-cycle” that’s so prevalent in Silicon Valley.
“But what bugs me is any old thing down there (in Silicon Valley), especially something that includes a viral component, everything gets a shake. Like a real shake,” said Barton, speaking at the GeekWire Meetup Thursday night in Seattle. “Like a ton of people actually try it because it enters this Y Combinator, TechCrunch, Benchmark, Sequoia spin cycle and it gets going. And, it may fail. But at least it gets a shot. We don’t do that here. We don’t do that. Why not? Why don’t we rally around our own stuff, you know?”
That was one of the many interesting remarks provided by Barton who also addressed how he helped convince Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to spin out Expedia and the importance of taking big swings in startup companies.
In case you missed the Meetup, the video of our chat is below and excerpts of his remarks are here.
After the Q&A portion of the chat, I experimented with a new interview technique. I put forth 10 different words to Barton, and asked for short, rapid-fire responses.
10 Words with Rich Barton
Steve Jobs: “Insanely great.”
Sounders: “The most amazing startup story in Seattle in the last decade.”
Google: “The new Microsoft.”
VCs: “Bunny rabbits.”
Steve Ballmer: “The birth of a star, like a nebula. Supernova is not the right analogy. Volcanic. Volcano.”
Jeff Bezos: “Hard core.”
Thanks again to everyone who came out to the Meetup. Stay tuned for our GeekWire Gala on December 8th where we’ll be celebrating geeks who give back and the top newsmakers of the year.
Photos by Annie Laurie Malarkey