The Platform Advantage

Location: Grand Ballroom Level:

Max Levchin predicted more than two years ago that social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace would become the new operating systems of the web, attracting tens of thousands of developers and offering hundreds of millions of users a new starting point for communication, entertainment and utility. Today, new platforms are popping up seemingly every day – Google’s OpenSocial, Android, Chrome, YouTube; recent entrants like Facebook and MySpace; Apple’s iPhone and many others. Levchin will facilitate a discussion with the top platform execs at Google, Microsoft and MySpace about “platform advantage” and what these companies are doing to compete, innovate and make money during recessionary times.

Photo of Max Levchin

Max Levchin


Max is the CEO and visionary behind Slide, the largest developer of social applications such as SuperPoke!, Top Friends, FunSpace and Slideshows, used by more than 170 million people worldwide. Max is also renowned as the co-founder of PayPal, an expert in combating online fraud and one of the hardest working entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Before starting Slide, he incubated several other start-ups, including Yelp, where he is currently Chairman of the Board. Max started PayPal in 1998, took the company public in 2002 and then sold it to eBay for more than $1.5 billion at the age of 26. Originally from Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union), Max moved to Chicago at the age of 16 and later received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Max sits on the board of several other companies and trains for triathlons when he’s not obsessing over Slide’s business.

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Vic Gundotra


Vic joined Google in 2007 as a Vice President of Engineering, responsible for developer evangelism and open source programs. He also oversees applications development. Previously, Vic spent 15 years at Microsoft, where he worked on a variety of products and operating systems, including Windows 3.0, NT, Windows XP, and Vista. He was recognized by MIT as a “Young Innovator under 35” for his work in sparking the Microsoft’s change from Win32 to the .NET programming model.

Most recently, Vic was General Manager of Microsoft’s developer outreach efforts worldwide, including evangelism and strategy for products like Windows Vista, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Microsoft CRM, and Windows Mobile.

Vic holds two patents in the area of distributed computing and identity-based access to cloud resources.

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David Treadwell

Microsoft - Live Platform Services

David Treadwell is corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Live Platform Services, a group that’s defining and implementing the next generation of platform services that all Microsoft service-enabled applications and sites will use. These services include unified identity and directory, data synchronization, transport and presence, among others.

A recognized platform innovator, Treadwell most recently helped to start the company’s Windows Live Core effort (Live Mesh), an incubation project that’s now a key component of the company’s services platform that will allow the creation of compelling applications by making deep use of network-based information.

Previously, Treadwell ran the .NET Developer Platform team responsible for Microsoft’s managed developer platform, which included the .NET Framework, ASP.NET and other technologies. Prior to his work on .NET, Treadwell was a developer for file server and networking technologies in Windows NT, co-author of the WinSock specification and the NT WinSock implementation, and the development manager for Internet Information Server.

Treadwell earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1989 and joined Microsoft later that year.

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Amit Kapur


Amit Kapur is the CEO of Gravity, a technology company that is building the internet’s Interest Graph to enable consumers with highly personalized web experiences. Gravity’s Interest Graph is an online representation of individuals’ real-world interests derived from public conversation, sharing, and profile data on the social web.

Amit was formerly the COO of MySpace, where he led operations, business development, and strategic partnerships for the company. He was an early MySpace employee, helping build and run MySpace Music and MySpace Mobile from the ground up. During his time as COO, MySpace rose to 125 million users worldwide and garnered a profit of nearly a billion dollars in revenue as part of Fox Interactive Media.

Prior To MySpace, Amit studied Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, where he received the Henry Fuchs Award and Royal Dutch Shell Fellowship for excellence in engineering.

Photo of Elliot Schrage

Elliot Schrage


Elliot Schrage is the Vice President of Communications, Public Policy and Platform Marketing at Facebook, where he is responsible for developing and coordinating key messages about products, corporate business and partnerships. He also oversees the company’s public policy strategy worldwide. Elliot joined Facebook from Google, where he was the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. He helped broaden and coordinate the company’s messaging from a focus on product PR to include all aspects of corporate, financial, policy, philanthropic and internal communications. Prior to Google, Elliot was the Bernard L. Schwarz Senior Fellow in business and foreign policy at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. Earlier in his career, Elliot served as the Senior Vice President of Global Affairs for Gap Inc. and an adjunct professor at Columbia University and Columbia Law School. He has been a contributor to the Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times. Elliot holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Co-produced By:

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  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • IBM
  • IDA Ireland
  • Juniper Networks
  • Microsoft
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Accenture
  • Searchme
  • Socialtext
  • Microsoft
  • Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • New Enterprise Associates
  • Omidyar Network
  • Panorama Capital
  • Silicon Alley Insider
  • Topix
  • Wired

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