James Cameron says making a movie that grossed more than any other in history is better than winning an Oscar. At least that’s what he told me on the stellar panel I had the honor of moderating in Las Vegas at the annual Wireless Convention. When asked if grossing more than $2 Billion offset not getting the Academy Award, Cameron said in the end, he’d take the money.
He along with Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter, and Aneesh Chopra, White House Chief Technology Officer, all spent an hour taking questions from me with an audience made up of members of the wireless industry.
Cameron says the next phase of 3D technology is coming to phones because it is actually easier to produce on phones. We need 3D glasses at the movie theater because the screen is so large. But apparently, our brains can process the 3D image without the glasses. He explains why far better than I can. You can watch him discuss it here.
So he’s working on projects to get 3D content for smart phones. Cameron spent a lot of time talking about improving the depth and special use of the screen. It is clear his brain is wired so differently than the rest of us. I’d love to see him have a conversation with Oliver Sacks.
Biz Stone made news by saying Twitter will have an announcement in the next month which maps out their strategy to monetize the incredible platform they have. He told me an interview on CNBC that he’s been focusing on this almost exclusively and hinted it won’t necessarily be an advertising model.
Wall Street is skeptical of Twitter in some ways because they can’t figure out how the company is going to make money. Yes, millions of users all over the world, and an unbelievable communication method, but so far their revenue is paltry. He declined to give any specific numbers. Stay tuned for that big announcement.
Aneesh Chopra is incredibly disarming. John Stewart calls him the George Clooney of India, and indeed he is very handsome. Chopra isn’t actually from India, but of Indian descent, but no matter. He is very young, under 40, and still has a charming, if mis-guided belief in government. And to his credit, he cited a number of instances where government intervention has made good things happen: The White House worked with private entrepreneurers to get an emergency communications network up and running in Haiti after the earthquake.
In addition, he and his team were instrumental in getting the government’s caloric information available in a format where entrepreuneurs can use it to build software applications in the field of nutrition. Still, the one spontaneous round of applause came when I suggested that the government should just get out of the way and let private industry do their work. I think he was surprised and told the audience that he understood their concerns about regulation but that the government wants to work with the industry not against it.
Chopra declined to give any timetable for when they finally begin auctioning off spectrum as was laid out in the FCC’s new broadband plan last week. Nor would he give a timetable as to when there would be a decision about net-neutrality. In his defense, he doesn’t work for the FCC, which he made clear more than once, and it will be up to that independent agency to outline the timetable.
The panel discussion was all about how these three individuals worlds intersect with the wireless industry. If you want to see more business related questions, like when is Twitter going to make some money, and did Google communicate with the White House before pulling out of China—you should watch the interviews we did during Power Lunch. You can see them here.