Recently, a number of people asked me why I blog as a VC. Isn't privacy a good thing for VCs? Don't you want to keep the good ideas to yourself? For the past couple of years, I had my own personal blog which I mainly used as a bookmarking tool so I could retrieve interesting news stories and my running commentary from any web browser. As I made the leap to the public blogging world, I really did not know what I would find until I threw myself out there.
So, after my first 6 months or so, here is what I like about blogging. Blogging provides me with an outlet for my views on technology, venture capital, and other current affairs. Yes, like most VCs I am opinionated, and what better way to express them than through a blog. Instead of beta testing a product, I get to beta or alpha test my opinions or thoughts and receive instant feedback no matter how far-fetched my ideas may be. I find this incredibly valuable as a number of people either email me directly or post comments and tell me I am off the mark, on the mark, or point me in new directions to further research my ideas. People send me information about new companies or even their resumes based on some of my current interests. As a VC, this is a great way to have an ongoing dialogue with an active and participatory audience. BTW, any product companies out there should think about using blogs and other technology like RSS to build long-term relationships with their customers and get instant feedback on product direction and features. Secondly, based on my posts, I have built some new relationships by engaging in conversation either directly or indirectly through my blog. Last week at DEMO, it was actually nice to have met some of the bloggers that I regularly read and with whom I share similar interests. Next, understanding the value of the blog, I actively read and subscribe to a number of other people's feeds to learn about the hot topics of the day and to understand what the early adopters are currently thinking before a new technology or idea goes mainstream. I get to listen and participate in on the conversations about the next product or idea that will reach the tipping point as many of today's innovative thoughts gather steam and build momentum through a word-of-mouth or word-of-network manner. Of course, the danger can be drinking your own kool-aid from the blogger community (think Howard Dean-he seemed really hot with the bloggers but did not fare so well in the primaries) so some balance is required here. Finally, it is alot of fun, and I hope you keep visiting and actively commenting either privately or publicly.