GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

May 19, 2006

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.

  • http://ben.casnocha.com Ben Casnocha

    David: Hope you’re well.

    I’ve blogged before on the business attire thing. It’s an interesting evolution — you need to be more formal all the way to a point. The moment you can wear jeans is the moment when you feel like your track record speaks for itself above any physical appearance. As they say, millionaires wear suits, billionaires wear jeans!

    (I’m neither, but still mostly wear jeans, b/c they’re more comfortable.)

    Also, people who slow down blogging usually do so b/c their blog is mostly/purely professional. If your blog is more personal, there’s always a ton of stuff to blog!

  • http://ben.casnocha.com Ben Casnocha

    David: Hope you’re well.

    I’ve blogged before on the business attire thing. It’s an interesting evolution — you need to be more formal all the way to a point. The moment you can wear jeans is when you feel like your track record speaks for itself above any physical appearance. As they say, millionaires wear suits, billionaires wear jeans!

    (I’m neither, but still mostly wear jeans, b/c they’re more comfortable.)

    Also, people who slow down blogging usually do so b/c their blog is mostly/purely professional. If your blog is more personal, there’s always a ton of stuff to blog!

  • http://worcester.typepad.com/pc4media Peter Caputa

    I wear the same pair of jeans all weekend every weekend. They get washed once in a while. However, I’ll never wear jeans to a pitch or to meet a client or prospect. My father, a blue collar guy most of his career, always encouraged me to dress the part. I usually wear slacks and a button down every day. And as my networkings starts to be more among business owners and executives, there’s actually more pressure to put a jacket on.

    I’ll assume I am an outlier regarding the inverse proportion of startup interestingness and casual dress.

  • http://blog.softtechvc.com Jeff Clavier

    Hey David. Sorry to be mostly MIA these days, but I just can’t find the time to write these days. There is just too much going on that I can’t blog about :-) yet.Keep up the good work for the rest of us!

  • http://www.dailyblognews.net Tracy

    :) I guess adding your feed to the Raising Capital edition of the “DAILY” Blog News was premature?? I have been online for 20 years (going back to BBS’) and as spring progresses, online lives diminish..we just have much more to do! (Having just spent 3 hours cutting 1/3 of my lawn) Still, having a deep bench allows for the variation in posting rates, and more thoughtful analysis means more time is needed to digest.

    It is a cycle well known among us very senior online citizens!

  • http://www.triggit.com/blog Zach Coelius

    I think the reason why so many of us have fallen off on our blogging is that the good times are back. At least from my perspective as an entrepreneur its virtually impossible to find the time to write when things are going so well. Business is simply to good.

  • http://www.marketing.fm Eric

    David,

    Perhaps its time to expand your blogroll? There are a ton of new and exciting blogs out there, and while I agree that some of the more successful people\bloggers may be slowing down because their real world duties are picking up, there are still a large amount of entrepreneurs such as myself that are just getting into the game. My feeling has always been that when you seem to be in an information deprived state – to go out and find the fresh stuff. This is not just a plug for my own blog (which it is:) but also to those out there that just started blogging, or are new entrepreneurs.

  • http://www.Startups.in Startups.in

    The reason most VC bloggers slowed down might have something to do with the new bubble. Probably they had lost more time during the downturn than they do now :)

    Regards,Nag /at/Startups.in

  • http://www.infinimedia.com Brian Breslin

    Maybe there is less blogging because everyone bought jeans, and now they’re getting funded ;-)

  • http://blog.eucap.com eucap

    I remember once my VC partner wearing a pin-striped suit for a meeting with our IPO underwriters in the morning, and black jeans and leather jacket for a meeting with a small acquisition in the afternoon.

    Being comfortable in both jeans and suit requires a range in skills. Being able to span both corporate and startup culture. An essential skill for small company non-exec directors I guess.

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