Three Things I’ve Been Thinking About

Perhaps not enough for a full-blown post, the following are three questions I’ve been mulling on recently:

Connectivity over content – or being content? I haven’t been able to shake the theme from the (long and somewhat dated academic) article written by Andrew Odlyzko, “Content is Not King,” which has stuck with me since I read it last September. Maintaining “that connectivity is more important than content,” the author cites historical industry revenue figures making the point that “spending on connectivity [point-to-point communications] is much more important for communication services than spending on content can ever be.” Reflecting what has happened in the past five years since this article was written, with the rise of social networking applications, perhaps we are seeing the rise of the true merging of the two previously distinct forms of communication. Afterall, what is MySpace et. al other than the communication between individuals becoming content?

Do the best entrepreneurs wear jeans? In the limited subset of entrepreneurs pitching an early-stage venture firm in the Boston area, it seems that there is an inverse relationship between how formally an entrepreneur is dressed during the pitch and how potentially exciting their endeavor. Of course, the correlation isn’t perfect, and correlation doesn’t imply causation, but it is notable, especially given the “stuffy” reputation the area has vs. the rest of the start-up regions. Perhaps it is a symptom of the expression of confidence wearing something comfortable.

Where have all the bloggers gone? It seems that many of my *favorite* bloggers have slowed down their posting in the past few months. Charlene Li just apologized to her readers about her recent absence. Jeff Clavier said “Long authoritative analysis is just not something I have time to produce these days.” Greg Yardley is “on hiatus… for the moment (obviously) because I’m busy.” Nivi hasn’t posted much since January other than some quotes. Seth Levine took a month or so off between posts, but is now back. And Russell Beattie has stopped altogether. I miss (reading) you guys. But I myself can’t start pointing fingers. Looking back at my own writing, it’s slowed down quite a bit as well. The difficulty (for me at least) is in generating unique meaningful content, especially among the multitude of voices in the blogosphere (as opposed to even when I started over a year or so ago), plus the time associated with doing that. As I continue, I think my blogging will continue to trend towards less frequent, but more thoughtful analysis, when I have something definite to say. I hope some of the others above will do the same – I, for one, am looking forward to hearing more from you.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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