Google Ventures and Rich Miner

google-venturesRich Miner is VP of Mobile Platforms at Google and has been instrumental in the development and success of Android, Google’s mobile operating system for those of you who have no clue what website you’re on for one reason or another. But will he keep that job? Evidence from a Silicon Valley event for start-up companies seems to suggest that Miner might have a new job in a division of Google that seemingly doesn’t exist (yet)… Google Ventures.

As a refresher, here is Rich Miner way back in February 2008. Oh yeah… he is also the guy that claimed Android will outsell the iPhone:

At the event, Reuters spotted (via mocoNews) a nametag on a table with two key facts:

  • Name: Rich Miner
  • Affiliation: Google Ventures

Seeing as how Google has yet to announce a Venture Capital arm of the company, we’re guessing the rumor that Google is getting into VC will soon surface as fact. And if somebody is going to head up the division, Rich Miner would be a good candidate based on his experience in that realm. In 2005, Google aquired a little bit of property that he co-founded called Android. In fact, he has spent the last two decades at start-ups and one of his companies was aquired by Orange, later getting him a gig as their Head of Technology and then as a consulting partner at Orange Ventures.

The official word from Google Spokesperson:

“It’s a project we’re working on. But we’re not able to discuss the details right now.”

Could this be the reason ADC2 has been delayed? Perhaps part of the restructuring of the 2nd Android Developer Challenge includes the integration of Google Ventures. Afterall, Google’s aquisition of Android seemed to pan out okay, instead of handing out prize money why not invest in the applications and developers that you’re already providing a vote of confidence?

I’m just thinking out loud of course, but the existence of Google Ventures is now a fact and the link with Rich Miner seems the same. Will Miner leave his position with Android to take on a role in the Google Ventures or will it be an additional responsibility? It’s a bit too early to tell but the plot is certainly thickening.

Proprietary knowledge and patents are becoming increasingly important in the mobile world as we’ve seen with the Multi-Touch fiasco. Google Ventures would give the company an entire branch dedicated to securing rights to the emerging technologies that will provide competitive advantages. On the downside, being an Open Source operating system, will you inevitably step on more feet than a “Do No Evil” company might care to?

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