The real reasons behind tech's immigration backlash? Emotions and money, says VC

Geoff Yang: Demise of traditional TV is over-exaggerated

Silicon Valley's pro-immigration salvo is as much about emotion as it is about tech talent, Geoff Yang, co-founder and partner at Redpoint Ventures, told CNBC on Friday.

"There's the dollars and cents and the numbers piece of it, but there's also the emotional, philosophical piece of it, because the spirit and culture of Silicon Valley is like a Horatio Alger story on steroids — where anyone can come from anywhere and achieve anything," Yang told "Squawk Box." "At least that's what people like to believe, the ethos."

Yang said that rag-to-riches myths in the technology industry are part of what is driving the nearly unified front against President Donald Trump's recent executive order restricting travel for people from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Nearly 130 technology companies have filed an amicus brief opposing the ban, which has been temporarily halted by courts. Industry leaders like Google's Eric Schmidt have also supported skilled immigration reform, which more directly affects the bottom line of technology companies.

"Having some of the brightest people come from all over the world to come study and eventually work in the United States is a plus," Yang said. "If anything, I think there's a talent shortage in Silicon Valley. ... If there's really good talent, we will try to find a way to take advantage of it and bring them into our companies."

Still, Yang said, there are a lot of positive feelings around politics at Pebble Beach in California, where CEOs from around the country are gathered for AT&T's annual pro-am golf tournament.

"It feels pretty good," Yang said. "Certainly the president's growth policies and the optimism and the euphoria around a new economy is definitely felt out here."

Yang's comments come amid regulatory scrutiny of big telecom mergers, like a deal between AT&T and Time Warner that has been skewered by President Trump, but considered favorably by his FCC pick.

Yang is a board member of AT&T, which in October agreed to purchase Time Warner, streamlining the delivery of content like CNN and HBO to its wireless phone and broadband customers.

As the distinction between traditional and digital fades, content and delivery companies will want to be tightly integrated, Yang said.

"People are going to view content on every piece of glass," Yang said. "They'll view it on their mobile device, they'll view it on their tablet, they'll view it on their TV."

Redpoint was also an investor in digital companies like TiVo, Myspace and Tastemade.

"The demise of traditional television is a little overexaggerated in terms of the timing," Yang said. "The reason it's had so much impact in the public market is ... when things turn in technology they turn very quickly."