Posts from October 2005

Our Web Site Is A Blog (continued)

Several weeks ago we turned our website into a blog.

I posted about why we did that.

Our effort to make the switch was a bit of a race with the Flatiron portfolio company Return Path, which was working to do the same thing.

Well Return Path launched their blog driven website on Friday of last week.

Matt Blumberg explains why in this post.

The fact is that many companies are experts in their particular field.

In Return Path’s case, that field is email marketing, particularly getting the email through filters and keeping your lists clean, current, accurate, and spam free.

So by turning your website into a blog, you can contribute all of that expertise easily.  That’s what we are doing. And that is exactly what Return Path is doing too.

If you are involved in email marketing, go subscribe to Return Path’s new blog via email or RSS. – Chapters Four and Five

I fell a bit behind on but caught up over the weekend.

Tom’s blook is now headed into Chapter 6.

But I spent the weekend with Chapters 4 and 5.

Chapter 4 is about pricing the IPO, watching the stock open, and going back to the office to celebrate.

I have watched a bunch of companies go through this ritual.  It’s fun to read about it in a non-fiction story.  Tom captures the emotions perfectly.

In Chapter 5 we are taken back to the murder mystery that opens the story.  The detective is interviewing the CTO.  The CTO is a good character and there is a scene where he describes winning the robot contest at Caltech.  It reminded me of Woody Flowers’ Intro to Design (2.70 in MIT numerology) contest at MIT! Thanks for that flashback Tom.

If you haven’t given a try, I’d suggest giving it a read.  It’s a lot of fun.

Positively 10th Street

Our new weekly podcast is up.

We got the whole crew back for this one.  We played a lot of the new music we’ve discovered in the past couple weeks.  Our dog Lucky got a couple barks in too.

Here’s the song list:

Jessica’s Song – The Comeback – Shout Out Louds
Emily’s Song – Seven Nation Army – Hard-Fi (cover of the White Stripes)
Josh’s Song – Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
Joanne’s Song – Love Me Like You – The Magic Numbers
Fred’s Song – The Only Answer – Mike Doughty (two versions)

Listen live here.

To listen in iTunes or on your iPod, get iTunes (version 4.9 or higher), then
select Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast, and then enter this into the

Union Square Sessions Transcript Available

YochaiIt took a couple days, but we’ve uploaded the entire transcript of the first Union Square Sessions, an event focused on the topic of peer production and open data architectures.

The entire transcript (all 227 pages) is available as a Word file here.  We have also created a reformatted version which is only 52 pages long.  And we’ve created a PDF file of the reformatted version as well.

We also have created a page on our public wiki where people should feel free to pull quotes from the transcript to create a summary page.  We have already seeded that page with a few quotes we particluarly like.

Please feel free to blog any and all of this and link back to us so we can track the conversation.

Walls of Mass Destruction

Although we can easily afford the cost of Times Select, I refuse to pay it.

We pay a monthly bill to subscribe to the paper version of the NY Times.

And in that paper version of the paper this morning, I read Maureen Dowd’s op-ed on the Judy Miller fiasco, entitled Women of Mass Destruction (here’s a link to a free version of the piece).

I want to blog it, as Jeff did today.

But I need to get to the piece in order to blog it.

And I can’t get there unless I pay more money.

This is nonsense.

We know that online content should be free and ad supported.

We need look no farther than the success of the online media giants, of which the New York Times is a member of, to understand how profitable free web-based media is.

And yet the Times is keeping its most interesting content, the stuff that always made it to the top 10 emailed stories list, behind a damned wall.

It’s bad for its customers, its bad for its business, and its bad for the open discourse that the web has created in our society.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I say "Mr. Sulzberger, tear down this wall"

On Rupert and Barry

I’ve got a bunch of stuff flying at me on the traditional media guys who get the Internet; Barry Diller and Rupert Murdoch.

First there is Adam Lashinsky’s excellent analysis of Murdoch’s moves on the Internet.

Then there is John Heilemann’s article in NY Magazine on Barry Diller’s attempt to take on Google with his Ask acquisition.

John and Adam are both great guys who I’ve worked with in the past and who are doing a wonderful job of analyzing and writing about what’s going on right now.

I’ve said that I think MySpace was a good move for Rupert.  I also think buying Ask was a good move for Diller.

Clearly these two guys get what’s happening in the media world and are acquiring assets that make sense.

And then there is Mark Pincus’ rant (sent to his blog via his blackberry) on John’s diss of web entrepreneurs in his New York mag piece

While I don’t share Mark’s anger at John (who I like), I do share his view that the guys who buld the properties that Barry and Rupert buy should be celebrated as much or more than the moguls.  Well said Mark.

Datapower Sold to IBM

Brad Feld has the news.

Congrats to my friends at Venrock, Seed Capital, Mobius, and Atlas.

(In an earlier version of this post, I left out Venrock and feel badly about doing that)

Jeff Fagnan told me about this company a while back and I always thought it was a winner.

Well done guys.