Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NY Tech Meetup: September

Stepping into Cooper Union's "Great Hall" last night was an excellent experience.

The days of heckling technologists and entrepreneurs in an open forum are decidedly back from summer hibernation.

Last night's forum allowed for an unprecedented number of 10 start-ups to present information about their endeavors (although I must confess I was in the back not paying complete attention to each company).

I'm In Like With You was presented by founder Charles Forman alongside a beautiful San Francicso Bay Area iilwy' aficionado. It was good to see a web program that I enjoy using being touted and honored by our NYC Tech community. Disclosure: I am addicted to iilwy and I got a free t-shirt (see photo).

"What's the business plan?" someone yelled out - " I don't know yet" was Charles' response, "We don't really have one."

Indeed the days of companies without business plans are still very much on the mind of our web 2.0 crowd.

Yet, I am happy to see companies with good ideas still acquiring funding. Despite their lack of a business plan (or at least for not sharing it last night), iilwy has been able to develop a strong following of 20-something users. Their main premise is to "entertain people bored at work". I like this mantra. Its something that I can support.

It was also the who's who of NY's scene at Cooper Union. Nick Denton of Gawker fame had Gizmodo demoing. Henry Blodgett of Silicon Alley Insider was also on hand as were many others.

The Fall is here and for my two-bits I am happy to see a viral community in place filled with enthusiasm and vigor.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Evil Google vs. Pleasant VC's ???

Businessweek writes crap this week about Google taking share out of the venture investing marketplace.

There are two things I take away from this article.

1. Corporations players are investing more money into technology, software and infrastructure.
2. VC's have more competition.

We have seen over the years Intel investing in many start-ups - I think they've invested over $1.3Billion over the years. Motorola is investing quite a lot too. Now Google is entering the game.

This I do not see as much of a threat to angels or early-stage investment groups. The article articulates that goog has invested in four start-ups with a range of $500-800k. Perhaps they have some first-rights for acquiring these companies at a later stage, but the fact remains that a couple of major players investing in a hand full of start-ups will not significantly shift how start-ups find funding.

VC's are not going anywhere fast. The DFJ's, Kleiner's and Highland Capitals of the world will remain the de facto sources for investment. Start-ups should include corporate players like Google in their tours of Sand Hill Road, but that is not to say that they should exclude VCs. The day that entrepreneurs abandon VC's altogether is the day our industry is dead, but until that time, I firmly believe that corporate venturing will not have a significant negative impact on deal flow or sourcing.

Lindsay Lohan Reads My Blog: MyBlogLog Style

Today as I was about to update my blog with a story about poor VC's getting edged out of deals by evil Google, instead I take a look at MyBlogLog community widget.

Its always a good feeling to see who's reading your work. My writing style is fluid. Its not appropriate at times and might not even make sense depending on how well my spell check is working.

I know that my mom reads this occasionally, but its good to see local techies names pop up on my list. Today I saw Lindsay_Lohan on my widget toolbar. Not the real Lindsay, but the fake one. Check out her blog here. Although this is a spin-off from The Fake Steve Jobs, I am still appreciative of the Fake Lindsay Lohan checking out my script. Maybe she saw my article about tennis and found it thought provoking?

The community aspects of the MyBlogLog widget allow users to interact on a higher level than say, facebook, where you don't really know who has been looking at your profile (which is a little scary). I enjoy the fact that I have the capability of seeing and interacting with people who use my blog. Shout outs to Innonate, Dan Putt, Charlie O'Donnell, Michael Galpert, Brett Petersel, Ken Berger, Howard Lindzon and many others.

MyBlogLog takes feedburner stats and puts a face to the name. It allows me to see what blogs my readers are reading and helps to connect me with communities and certain blogs which I frequent by automatically adding me to that community. These features I enjoy. Not really sure what the next step for this company would be.

Enough raving.