Google Ventures partner, Digg, Milk, and Revision3 co-founder, and raccoon enthusiast, Kevin Rose sat down with The Next Web co-founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten at The Next Web Conference Europe today. During the interview that touched on Rose’s many startups and being the target of San Francisco protesters, the serial startup-founder shared his desire to return to the startup scene and his regret of giving up power at Digg.
While talking about the demise of aggregation site Digg, Rose told Veldhuijzen van Zanten that he regrets giving up the CEO role during his tenure at the site. He said, “You might not be ready to be CEO. But you can surround yourself with smart people.”
Rose cited Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a CEO who might have not been ready to run a company on his own, but surrounded himself with smart people that helped him navigate the company from a small social network to a “like”-filled juggernaut.
Rose also cited a company’s internal culture as key to keeping a company relevant in the ever-changing world of the Internet. A passionate staff pushes innovation and fights for ideas that they believe in. “There were too many cooks in the kitchen (at Digg). No one ever pounded on the desk and said ‘enough, this is the new feature’ in meeting.”
And while Rose is now a partner at Google Ventures and helps startups get the financial support they need at the ground level, his next chapter might be right beside the companies he helps. When asked about the next chapter in his life, Rose replied, “Another startup. It has to be something that pulls me in and gets me excited.” Rose said nothing fits that bill right now.
Meanwhile he’ll keep investing in startups. His track record is impressive. his personal investment hits include, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Square. To get Square CEO and Founder Jack Dorsey to allow him to invest in the payment-startup Rose created a video on how to use the service. Dorsey, who initially told Rose there was no room for his investment, liked the video enough to invite Rose to invest, “Some deals you have to get scrappy to get in.”
Rose also talked briefly about being the target of San Francisco protesters upset about long-term residents being displaced by the influx of Google, Apple, Facebook, and employees of other tech companies. “It’s something we need to pay attention to and fix. I just happen to be one of the targets.” Rose then joked that he had joined them and was now part of Anonymous.
Head to our TNW Europe 2014 page to keep up with the rest of our coverage of the conference this week.