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Jeff Jarvis Moving On

Jeff "BuzzMachine" Jarvis has just announced in his post "Onward" that he had left his job at Advance.net to do *a lot* of new things, "all related to changing news and to citizens’ media".

So what will Jeff (who I know from his board involvement at Moreover Technologies) do in his new incarnation, as Buzzmachine LLC ? Check this out:

Work on content development About.com, working with Martin Nisenholtz at The New York Times Company Act as editor in chief of a new (stealth) news start-up Work with the new City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism as the school launches Hanging out my consulting shingle to take on a few good projects Write a book And of course, blog, blog, blog, and blog.

Most of these tasks would be close to full time for most of us, but the man is not like… most of us. So best of luck Jeff, and see you around.

Read more »


Trends in Venture Financing – Q105 Data

The law firm Fenwick & West compiles every quarter the financing terms received by Bay Area technology companies. I just found out that this report I used to receive by email from Bill Schreiber (a corporate partner I have been working with for a few years) was available on the web.This is a very useful indicator as to the evolution of typical terms recently offered by VCs. Key terms of a venture financing are: average round size, pre-money, type of liquidation preference (seniority, multiple, participating,…), dividends, provisions, etc. For a clear definition of all these terms, I recommend checking Brad Feld’s excellent series on financing terms, or the short version from Fenwick. Whilst the report does not give absolute terms (what is the typical pre-money for a Series A), it tells you about price evolutions over the past few quarters.

What were the key trends in Q1’05 ?

The quarter showed an increase in the number … Read more »


Panels are dead ? – Not quite – Just prepare them better

Mary Hodder has a go at the panel format when attending Les Blogs last week: Panels are Dead.

For me that is. 

I’m sitting here at a conference that I flew all the way to Paris for.. for two days, and damned if it isn’t full of panels, broadcast mode all the way, telling the audience how it is. And well.. it’s so freaking undynamic. Because it’s not a discussion. These are bloggers. They know a lot. They know what it is. These 300 people make media every day on their blogs and yet, panels are here giving us time to email the office, our cats or the mailman about a critical lost postcard.

This audience is creative, bright, thoughtful and our brains are being numbed to death by one-way talk about how blogs are about losing legacy control and we’re all taking it back. Somewhere there is a tragi-comedy in here. It’s time for a … Read more »


New VC blogger: Seeing Both Sides

Jeff Bussang, a General Partner with IDG Ventures in Boston, recently started a blog. Jeff is a former entrepreneur, and therefore can provide a point of view encompassing…both sides. His objectives:

I was inspired to start this blog for many reasons, but the most important one is to help entrepreneurs.  During my ten years as an executive at start-ups (such as Upromise and Open Market), I often viewed the venture capital business as a black art.  Now that I’ve had a few years to practice that black art, I hope to help demystify it for other entrepreneurs.

Like most experiments, I will start this one off small and see where it leads.  If this blog can help both educate and entertain, it will have served its purpose.

In a few posts, he has provided useful answers to a few questions that many entrepreneurs tend to wonder about:

Should I go with a small angel round or a VC … Read more »


Re: Newsgator Marketing Problem

I was commenting on Scoble’s piece re NewsGator’s marketing problem, and thought that I might as well post it here.

I have been using NewsGator for a while (and blogged about it), and am happy with it. This is mainly because I spend all my time in Outlook, and use LookOut extensively. If I was not using NewsGator, I would use FeedDemon, which has developed some interesting podcasting support, but falls short of automating the transfer of MP3 files to my phone – mainly because of the lack of folder replication in ActiveSync for SmartPhone (whereas it is exists for PocketPCs).

I also use Bloglines, mainly as an aggregator on the phone or on the go. I have tried NewsGator Mobile – thanks to Greg – but I prefer the way Bloglines organizes feeds and posts, and the user experience that it offers. I actually believe that many people using a application-based aggregator also use … Read more »


“Dream Mergers” Candidates

Ross has made a call for participation in an interesting Dream Mergers contest of sorts. Since the wiki’s "recent changes" do not list the name of who added each contribution, I thought I would go on the record with mine, just to be able to look (now and/or later).

So here we go, note that this is pure imagination, and not the result of anything "I would have heard". And let’s not get too serious on this one, OK ?

Google hires Jimmy Wales to run Wikimedia "from within" (or at least tries to) SixApart acquires FeedBurner Sun acquires SocialText and WordPress, Inc and bundles them with Solaris 10 as a ready-to-deploy publishing solution Sun acquires JBoss and MySQL, and becomes the professional Open Source company Google picks up Kayak.com IBM acquires JotSpot, connects its back-end to Lotus Notes, and makes it its entry level collaboration platform Yahoo brings in Eric Rice (AudioBlog), Google … Read more »


Feeds: Managed or Not ?

Tony Gentile over at buzzhit asked a few questions re Do you read or run a managed feed?. I thought I might as well share these answers through a post. Here we go:

My questions to readers of managed Feeds are:

A) Does the fact that a Feed is being managed effect your willingness to subscribe to it?Not really, except if being managed leads to the feed to be easy to subscribe to. If I am interested in a blog, I will try to find a way to add it to my rssreader (NewsGator). My OPML file will then make its way into Bloglines so that I can read my feeds on the road, or on my phone.

B) Does the fact that a Feed is managed impact your reading experience? If so, how?Splicing of del.icio.us or flickr pictures in a blog feed can be annoying, depending on the relative number of posts. I would always suggest to … Read more »


Why privacy matters: Challenges and Opportunities

Microsoft hosted today a Valley Speakers Series, on "Why privacy matters: Challenges and Opportunities". It was moderated by Moira Gunn, host of NPR’s "Tech Nation" (now podcasted on ITConversations), and featured Scott Shipman, privacy counsel at eBay Inc.; Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer at HP; Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft; and Fran Maier, executive director and president of TRUSTe.

I thought that, with such a set of panelists, we would be able to get quite a bit of perspective on what is being developed around both privacy, identity protection and federated identity. Unfortunately, and it might been a case of over-expectations, a lot of time was spent on current issues and current, limited, solutions. Interesting, but I had a sense of a missed opportunity.

I noted the following points:

G8 countries have decided to enforce data retention by ISPs in order to make sure that hacker intrusions, path, data changes,… could be traced through the multiple hops … Read more »


OpenSolaris: Sun’s move is gutsy, but is it too late ?

David Berlind over at ZDNet has published an excellent note regarding Sun "open sourcing" Solaris 10: Will Sun’s 1600 patents suck the life out of Linux?. It is a thoughful complement to this CNET piece, that goes into more details on the background of the decision.

Sun has been struggling since the end of the bubble with an ever declining market share (and mindshare), and many had "buried" the company (even if it still has over $3B in cash on the balance sheet) because of its reliance on a proprietary version of Unix, and a proprietary chip design. The lack of support for cheap Intel boxes has always been a major issue for ISVs that, in an ideal world, would have wanted to run their Solaris applications on low cost servers. I am discounting the x86 version of Solaris that Sun released in the mid 90′s because it was too expensive, slow and lacked a proper … Read more »


To the editors of BusinessWeek Online’s DealFlow

Matt Marshall and Steve Rubel, (and Brad Feld), mentioned the launch of a new blog (or "blog" – see below) focusing on the startup/VC world by BusinessWeek Online: DealFlow. It is interesting because mainstream press can add a different perspective in their reporting on our industry. However, as I checked it out (full of hope and interest), I found no RSS feed, no way to trackback a story or leave a comment on a particular post.

So it is a "blog" (something that looks almost like a blog, is referred to as a blog, but is not a blog).

It is actually surprising that they do not provide (at least) an RSS feed for their "blog" since they offer some for their news. And, hem, it is not as though BW was the first to use this channel, and therefore had to discover what it means to foster participation, as opposed to traditional "one-way" publishing. … Read more »


BloggerCon III: Newbies Session

The discussion leader was Rebecca MacKinnon. Because BloggerCon is an "un-conference", and there is no presentation or pre-set agenda, she asked people in the room what they were interested in. There was actually an interesting mix of pure blog newbies to blog veterans (meaning that they have been blogging for over 2 years ;-). Some were interested in finding out how to start blogging, others how to push a corporate blogging agenda, etc. Lots of different perspectives and levels of experience/expertise.

A few people were working for blogging tools vendors, but they did not really speak out because of the BloggerCon policy of not allowing vendors’ plugs (which unfortunately prevented these very experienced users to share their expertise – Niall has a great post on this).

Rebecca pointed the audience to her blog that points to useful "Blogging for Newbies" resources, including definitions, a "cookbook" and a wiki she has setup to gather these … Read more »


Pick Your VC Carefully… If You Can

Jeff, from SAP Ventures, has recently written an interesting post: Pick Your VC Carefully. A number of BlogoVCs have made reference and added interesting comments to it (Ed, Brad, Fred, Marc, Stephen).

I would tend to agree with most of Jeff’s points, and they are certainly very valid for entrepreneurs to be aware of. The issue of alignment across investors (or lack thereof) is typically a critical problem that has sunk companies that might have had a chance to survive otherwise. However, when I read this post, I had to think a couple of times "Yeah right, that is true but only if have the luxury of picking your VC".