Top Blogs Write The Same Stories

Published: 12/27/2007 4:09:55 PM, comments: 0

With few exceptions, most of the top Web-oriented blogs write about pretty much the same companies, the same news stories and with the same range of opinions.

I'm referring to TechCrunch, GigaOm, VentureBeat and Read/Write Web.  Don't get me wrong, they are all great destinations for reading about the latest Web X.0 company, but I wonder if one of them will break out in 2008 with a truly differentiated offering...something other than a cosmetic makeover?

Too often, businesses provides "sameness" to customers, when what we want is something different.  It's hard to be different and succeed, but I for one will certainly try to do and write some different things in 2008.

Don Jones


I Like VC Blogs

Published: 12/18/2007 10:08:32 AM, comments: 0

Over the past few years, the number of blogs written by venture capitalists (VCs) has risen, and I think they're a great resource for budding entrepreneurs.

Although the VC blogs that I've frequented have wandered all over the map in terms of subject matter, from the personal to the professional, in general they do a great job of "pulling back the curtain" on the venture capital business.  By consistently visiting these blogs, new entrepreneurs can gain insights into some of the considerations and issues with venture-backed technology companies and their investors.

A great place to start is at Brad Feld's blog.  Brad is an experienced VC who is generous with his insights, entertaining, and he has a great blog roll.  It has a long list of other VC blogs as well as entrepreneurs and interesting thought leaders.  So it's a great launching pad into the mind of the VC.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

Don Jones


They're Just Not That Into You

Published: 12/12/2007 1:50:37 PM, comments: 0

Entrepreneurs say that one of the things that annoys them the most is not getting a firm Yes or No from venture capital firms or angel groups they are presenting to.  They feel like they get strung along without a definite ending or closure to the process.

The simple answer:  if an investment group is interested in investing in your company, they will make it unambiguously clear to you.  They will engage you in obvious ways like asking you back for additional meetings with final decision makers, asking you detailed questions about you, your company and the opportunity and sending feelers about financial terms, etc.  They will begin to bring in other investors who may be interested. 

In other words, if they aren't enthusiastically engaging with you - saying YES - then you should assume the answer is no.  It's like that scene in Sex in the City - where if the guy on a date decides not to come up to the girl's apartment, providing some vague excuse - the answer is that he just isn't into her.

Same with investors -- if they don't respond enthusiastically with interest in taking the next steps, they're just not that into you.

Don Jones


Semantic Web - 2008?

Published: 12/5/2007 12:01:07 PM, comments: 0

There has been an increasing amount of chatter about the rise of "Semantic Web" and the differing concepts about how to make the Web a smarter and more convenient place for users to get what they want.

Semantics is about describing what's in the documents on the web so that computers can do more of the simple actions to make our experiences richer. There are generally two camps:

1.  Tim Berners-Lee - who created the Web - thinks that a standards-based set of conventions should be adopted by all websites.  This would create a common language for computers to understand what's inside documents.

2.  The "natural" tagging community who believes that you can't "legislate" a meaningful system from above, that documents need to be annotated or tagged by each owner, which is a far better way to determine meaning and content.

I believe that what will happen is a combination of the two systems.  Those websites with more means will sign on the standards-based concept and the remaining sites will do a more ad-hoc way of describing their content.

What do you think?  Which approach would you like for your site?

Don Jones


Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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