Been meaning to get to this - VC investing

I was on the road last week and didn’t have a chance to get to this. The NVCA came out with the latest venture investing numbers. The good news is that there are investments being made, the bad news (if you are an entrepreneur) is that most of the investing is going to the later stage deals.

I find this very interesting. I hear from a lot of VCs that the early deals are the most interesting, it’s just that finding the right ones or getting in at the right time is proving to be trickier these days. It takes a lot less money to create a start-up right now and it’s easier for entrepreneurs to show some traction and growth on pennies before pulling down a big funding round. The entrepreneurs starting these companies now either have an established network, or don’t want to take on a first round from a VC. What typically ends up happening is that the next time they go to raise a round of funding, they’ve proven themselves, have more customers or users and their valuation is higher. This makes it more expensive for the VCs to get in and then the deal becomes less interesting or too expensive. So while it’s easy to blame Sarbanes Oxley, etc. but I think that valuations are playing a pretty big role in early stage financing – or lack thereof.

Pirate Radio (with the Church Lady)

Everyone has a “Meet-up” these days. (well at least out here in The Valley). I went down to the Third Thursday PR Meet-up to listen to a discussion about podcasts (not sure why they didn’t do it via a podcast? I guess it kind of defeats the purpose of the “meet-up” …)

Anyway, it was pretty interesting to listen to two of the woman who have podcasts and how/why they got started. One was from Palo Alto and seems to resemble my mom (in even more of Church-Lady sort of way and I mean that in the nicest way possible...) while the other was a younger woman from Fresno but both are pretty much doing the same thing. Their podcasts fill a void that traditional broadcast media can’t fill – in depth local issues. The issues aren’t necessarily “huge” like Korea pointing a nuke at me type-of-issues… but none the less, it serves a purpose – an alternative to what currently exists.

There are all sorts of flavors of podcasts that help lengthen the “Tail” but to me local seems interesting. Radio is still very much a local medium but just like everything else it is either getting swallowed up by the big guys or local stations are having a tough time keeping the lights on and the signal broadcasting. At some point when we have IP-based radios that can stream or store podcasts directly to our cars – it’s good to know that there will still be a place to listen for the local spin on things… and more importantly the opportunity to have multiple choices for the local spin.

Seeing Sound

This is just amazing. No matter how big/small, fast/smart a computer/gadget we can build the human body and brain still shows us how advance and adaptable it can be. This is a story about boy who can “See Sound.”

Another Sign of the Times

No pun intended… The New York Times is reducing the size of it’s paper and closing a print factory. The size reduction will take away about 5% of the space the paper devotes to news coverage. Earlier this year, the New York Times did a major facelift as well as added some necessary RSS feeds, blogging features, etc., in an effort to pursue a more strategic online strategy.

In a time where more and more people turn to the web for their news, traditional media sources *MUST* find a way to compete and adapt their business models. Always interesting watching these cycles evolve.

Do I really sound like this?

This is why I won't be doing too many podcasts or radio talk shows. This is from a recent interview with Lazlow. I started listening to Lazlow on the now defunct WDRE back in Philadelphia, almost 14 years ago (yikes). Lazlow probably had one of the first syndicated Consumer Tech Radio shows - you can now find his podcasts on his site and hear him on XM Radio.

New York

I am in New York this week. I am always amazed at how much energy this city has. I love it. I can't help but think of an article I read last week about NY regaining it's crown as the capital of capital...

According to Patrick McGeehan of the New York Times, "...In the past several years, New York has regained its magnetic force and is re-establishing its claim as the city of big bosses. The number of corporate headquarters and subsidiaries in Manhattan has more than doubled since 1990, according to the US Department of Labour. In the past few years, the number of Fortune 500 companies based in the city has been inching upwards, reversing a long, steep decline that accelerated during the financial crisis of the early 1970's."

I enjoy my trips to NY, they are often very productive, very busy and I sleep very well when I return back to San Francisco.

Slow Posting this week

We've been a bit behind in posting this week. I think we are either catching-up from the holiday or still in holiday mode. Either way, we'll be back with more next week.