Mike Maples Says Twitter Is a Thunder Lizard

Venture capital investor Mike Maples, who launched the Floodgate Partners fund last year and is an investor in Twitter, defends the company’s seemingly gigantic market valuation — saying it has a chance to become a fundamental and important company in the tech industry, or what he calls a “thunder lizard.” Maples also said the company is changing the media, news and entertainment industries. The VC made the comments during an appearance on Bloomberg Television on Thursday night (video of which is embedded below), and also talked about the possibility that co-founder Jack Dorsey might return to the company. Here are some of his remarks:

  • On Twitter’s market value. “I do not think Twitter is being valued on today’s or next year’s revenues, but really the chance that they could become a fundamental and important company in the software or tech business at large. I think a lot of people can defend that they are a strategically relevant company. They are changing media, news, entertainment and they have done it in less than five years.”
  • On Twitter’s goals. “They are a very idealistic company. I think they are still very much in the phase of driving usage and engagement and trying to be the best service they can be. I think they understand that if they achieve that goal, success will come their way. They have plenty of time and plenty of money.”
  • On Jack Dorsey’s return. “I think Jack is a supreme talent as an entrepreneur and as a product person, and so any influence he can have on Twitter is obviously good for me as an investor.”
  • On “thunder lizards.” “Godzilla was hatched from radioactive atomic eggs and swam across the ocean and started to destroy cities. I always thought that was a good metaphor for the disruptive startup. The atomic eggs are sort of a metaphor for the thunder lizard ambitions of a company…. Twitter is starting to show some thunder lizard traits. They are encroaching.”

Maples also talked about what has happened to Digg (in which he has also invested), saying the company probably got too much credit when it “was really famous and everyone was in love with it,” but that he thinks the market has probably gone too far in the opposite direction now. “I think Digg is on the right track,” he said, adding that the site “just needs to focus on their users one day at a time. I do not feel too sorry for a site that still has tens of millions of users, so I think that they’ve still got a shot.”