With the recent announcement of Yahoo’s Brickhouse program it seems that more and more people are catching on to the idea of tech companies creating venture capital divisions. At the beginning of December I wrote about how Google should start up their own VC division. Yesterday, Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek.com examined “What to Do with Apple’s Cash”. He suggested that Apple should create their own venture capital fund. Also yesterday John Battelle examined what Google should do with $11 billion in liquid assets. How about Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft throw some money into one huge super-fund? Alternatively, they could graciously donate their money to Ford or General Motors who I’m sure would gladly accept.
The only problem I have with the concept of a super-fund is that it’s counterintuitive. It isn’t business smart. No corporation should be dolling out money at start-ups. Conversely, there are plenty of cash heavy multi-national corporations that have more money than they know what to do with. Why don’t they each donate a billion dollars to curing cancer or aids? Any ideas?¬† How would you spend a couple billion dollars?