NEW YORK (Reuters Blogs) -- What does Mark Zuckerberg think he's doing, spending $2 billion on Oculus? You could take him at his word -- that he sees virtual reality as "a new communication platform" where "truly present" people "can share unbounded spaces and experiences." Basically, virtual is the new mobile, and Zuckerberg wants to get in on the game early.
But note what Zuckerberg doesn't say, as much as what he does. There's no mention of "social," no mention even of Facebook. Zuckerberg is one of the greatest product managers in history, but his legendary focus is nowhere to be seen here: it's all big, vague, hand-waving futurism. And note too one of the quieter members of Zuckerberg's board of directors: Donald Graham, the CEO of what used to be called the Washington Post Company, and old friend of Warren Buffett.
Buffett, of course, is the classic conglomerator: He'll buy any business, so long as it's good. Graham is similar: He inherited a grand media property, and added on all manner of unrelated businesses. Eventually he sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, for $250 million and is still the CEO of a company, Graham Holdings, which is worth more than $5 billion.
Is it too early to declare that Zuckerberg has ambitions to become the Warren Buffett of technology? Look at his big purchases -- Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus. None of them are likely to be integrated into the core Facebook product any time soon; none of them really make it better in any visible way. I'm sure he promised something similar to Snapchat, too.