Blog Post

Open Media, Meet The VCs

Today was one of those days I dedicate to go down to Sand Hill Road, pound the gold-covered pavements, trying to dig up stories, trends and interesting trends. It is typically a good day, where I come back, soaking in knowledge from those who put their dollars where their neurons are. Chips, servers, fiber optics, and broadband – that’s the kind of stuff I get excited about. Sometimes I come back with glimmers of a new trend, such as vertical search.

Today, was rather unusual. There was a lot of talk about blogging, podcasting, and well anything that falls under the umbrella of open media. From morning to evening, over countless cups of coffee, it seemed everyone wanted to talk about just that. I tried to get some thoughts on other more meatier stuff, but lets just say, the notebook is all about blogging and other related stuff.

I guess that was expected – Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia have just pumped in $8.5 million into a podcasting company, while Charles River Ventures, another cream of the crop firm put dollars to work in Odeo. Timing, I suppose. Of course, there is August envy – they have investment in Six Apart, probably the only company that has some serious revenues in the whole space.

It reminded me of a piece I wrote back in November 2003. It was called, For VCs, Blogging is the Next New Thing. Talk about being early to the party! A lone cautionary voice of reason, a meat-and-potatoes investor, who will remained anonymous, pointed out that with so much money in the Valley, some of the late 1990s mentality is creeping back. A lot of people are looking to invest outside their comfort zone, on the logic that something’s got to sick. High stakes poker seems safer, but that’s just me.

So if you have an idea, or a concept, well, it might be time to pack your backpack and head on over to Silicon Valley. If you can whip up a Power Point that has all the right buzzwords: RSS, blogs, vLogs, Social Bookmarks and tags thrown in for a good measure, this might be your big break. And while you are at, drop me a note with something trivial like, “path to profitability.”

14 Responses to “Open Media, Meet The VCs”

  1. If you’re one of those new small startups, and VC’s start calling you to talk to you, and you think they really just want to pump your brain, what should you do? a) Talk to them thinking that it’s not bad to keep the conversation open, or b) charge them 300$/hour (with a minimum of 2000 US$/day) in consulting fees?

  2. Among all the openmedia concepts ,Social Bookmarking can quickly become profitable (with paid ppc links) *if* it succeed in attracting mainstream web users .IMHO currently only web geeks and bloggers use it.

    We will know social bookmarking entered the mainstream world when “paris hilton” becomes the most active tag in :)

  3. Besides forgetting the long tail, what about the 5th Wave of Tech? The fiber, chips, servers, broadband, etc. comprise the pieces that make up the 747 which provides for these 5th Wave apps, true?

  4. I met w/ a blue chip Boston VC the other day who said the vibe in their office was not so off from the bubble days (except more leverage with solid entrepreneurs these days). I’m sure the Sand Hill Rd guys pumped you for interesting, below-the-radar startups.

  5. Om, very interesting. We have a company in our portfolio that I will be writing you about shortly. It has an advanced, scalable, personalized subscription engine that enables intelligent, automatic and real-time delivery of any RSS-published multi-media content to any Internet-connected node, including software and hardware devices. As an example the “My Subscription” feature can now have customized feeds like: First 5 mts of CNBC and Bloomberg news, Traffic Conditions on 680 to Sunol, First 20 mts of Howard Stern, Music & blogs.

    The correlation engine is a patent-pending, in-memory process that employs state-of-the-art algorithms to match vast patterns of personal preferences to media content AS IT IS PUBLISHED. The unique preference matching is coupled with automated delivery of multi-media content, making it the a unique if not only solution of its kind in the market today.