Genuine VC

The Golden Age of the Boston Internet Entrepreneur

Genuine VC

I was in my early 20’s just barely out of school when four of us (peers) started Sombasa Media (aka BargainDog ) here in Boston beginning in 1998.

Searching for the Kinect Killer App

Genuine VC

We at NextView have been thinking about and looking for investments in seed-stage startups which leverage the megatrend of transitioning computing away from a standard fixed-web PC world. Of course that includes “mobile-first” applications and companies which ride the adoption of tablet devices (more on those in upcoming posts). But this exploration also includes alternative user-interfaces and inputs, like gesture controls.

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Do Startup Location Matters Even Matter?

Genuine VC

Today we’re now neighbors in our building with Uber , our portfolio company TurningArt , and social media marketing firm Likeable Media , among others… including three other portfolio companies on the above map a stone’s throw away [orange].

Beer Kegs and the Future of Venture Capital: What It Means for Entrepreneurs

Genuine VC

While social media has brought greater transparency to many aspects of the VC business, it’s still a relationship-driven and moderately opaque industry. Last September I wrote a post outlining my view of the venture capital industry: increasingly evolving like the beer industry as it continues to mature. Large VC firms resemble Budweiser-type macrobrews, competing based on scale and brand with a standardized product across multiple geographies, sectors, and stages.

Officially Launching NextView Ventures

Genuine VC

And given dynamics in the digital media space, we think that (especially along the Boston to New York corridor) there is a market need for a funding source like ours for early stage entrepreneurs. Last summer, I along with my partners announced that we were forming a new micro venture capital firm. At that point, Rob Go, Lee Hower, and I possessed a shared vision and a newly minted name, but were still in the process of forming our approach.

Startups Seeking Sherpas

Genuine VC

After we sold our startup Sombasa Media just over a dozen years ago, I embarked on two distinct “journeys.” The first was a month-long 1500+ mile cycling trip from the southern tip of England to the northern tip of Scotland (“ Land’s End to John O’Groats ”). The second was a trip where we hiked the “ Inca Trail ” in Peru to Machu Picchu. Both trips “rhymed” with each other in that the point intentionally was about the experience of the voyage rather than merely the destination itself.

VC Paradox: The Best of Times & Worst of Times (Part I)

Genuine VC

Given the size and scale of the macrobrews of the VC business, it’s increasingly the largest venture capital firms driving all of the fundraising figures quoted in the media. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen extremely positive headlines about the surge in VC fundings like “ Venture Capital Hits Highest Level Since Dot-Com Bubble.” It must be the best of times for the industry with $8.1B invested in startups during the second quarter of 2012 (the highest in a decade!)

Seven Lessons I've Learned Organizing Events

Genuine VC

And of course social media has helped spread the word, from the nearly two thousand Twitter followers ( @webinno ) to all of the blog posts attendees write as follow up. For the past five years, I’ve been organizing a regular event here in Boston called the Web Innovators Group (aka “WebInno”). Every couple months, 700-1000 web & mobile entrepreneurs, techies, startup junkies, and investors gather for one big meetup of the community.

Getting Back the Band Together for NextView’s Investment in BookBub

Genuine VC

Just about fifteen years ago, Josh Schanker and I, along with our co-founders Elliot Shmukler and Tammy O’Neil Bolduc started Sombasa Media together. In the intervening years while I pursued a career investing in startups rather than creating them, Josh continued as an entrepreneur starting a handful of companies including early social networking site Sconex, successfully sold to Alloy Media.

Our Investment in tapCommerce is the Real Deal

Genuine VC

With many of the co-founders having worked together at places like CNET, Pontiflex, and Demdex; on paper it was the right mix of mobile, ad-tech, and online media DNA. It isn’t a secret that there is a huge platform shift underway as consumers transition from the desktop web to mobile + tablet devices.

Why I Like Our Investment in Triple Lift

Genuine VC

Using real-time image engagement analytics, the company identifies and amplifies brands’ images through initiating paid media and catalyzing earned media. The web has become increasingly visual. Of course the same broadband penetration trends which catapulted the rise of online video over the previous decade also empowered delivery of image-heavy web pages.

Searching for the Kinect Killer App

Genuine VC

We at NextView have been thinking about and looking for investments in seed-stage startups which leverage the megatrend of transitioning computing away from a standard fixed-web PC world. Of course that includes “mobile-first” applications and companies which ride the adoption of tablet devices (more on those in upcoming posts). But this exploration also includes alternative user-interfaces and inputs, like gesture controls.

Excited to Co-Found a New Micro VC Firm

Genuine VC

I believe that the company is dramatically changing the face of women’s-focused media with an authentic & powerful community of bloggers, and I am happy to continue to be a part of that endeavor as it grows. I thought I would share a quick update on my blog about my professional plans. With the support and encouragement of my Venrock colleagues, I am pleased to share that I am moving on to co-found a new Micro VC firm focused on seed internet investments.

Two Decade-Defining Acquisitions? Then (Google) & Now (Apple)

Genuine VC

Not only will Apple now be able to monetize through physical product and content (first-party software & resold entertainment media) sales, it will be able to generate real revenue via advertising. In a decade where we’re going to see a proliferation of mobile device incarnations and media content manifestations, adding the ad network bow to the Apple quiver gives the company that ability to monetize not just at the core of what consumer experiences they control, but everywhere.

Two Decade-Defining Acquisitions? Then (Google) & Now (Apple)

Genuine VC

Not only will Apple now be able to monetize through physical product and content (first-party software & resold entertainment media) sales, it will be able to generate real revenue via advertising. In a decade where we’re going to see a proliferation of mobile device incarnations and media content manifestations, adding the ad network bow to the Apple quiver gives the company that ability to monetize not just at the core of what consumer experiences they control, but everywhere.

Seven Lessons I've Learned Organizing Events

Genuine VC

And of course social media has helped spread the word, from the nearly two thousand Twitter followers ( @webinno ) to all of the blog posts attendees write as follow up. For the past five years, I’ve been organizing a regular event here in Boston called the Web Innovators Group (aka “WebInno”). Every couple months, 700-1000 web & mobile entrepreneurs, techies, startup junkies, and investors gather for one big meetup of the community.

Why AOL's "About.com 2.0" strategy will work. for a while

Genuine VC

In a CNBC interview a few weeks ago he explained his vision : “We’re building the world’s largest niche, you know, media business. Disclaimer: I co-founded Sombasa Media which we sold to About.com and worked there for a couple years. It’s been almost month or so since the covers have been lifted on the newly public AOL and their newly refocused strategy under the helm of Tim Armstrong.

Why AOL's "About.com 2.0" strategy will work. for a while

Genuine VC

In a CNBC interview a few weeks ago he explained his vision : “We’re building the world’s largest niche, you know, media business. Disclaimer: I co-founded Sombasa Media which we sold to About.com and worked there for a couple years. It’s been almost month or so since the covers have been lifted on the newly public AOL and their newly refocused strategy under the helm of Tim Armstrong.

The Swinging Pendulum Between Distribution and Monetization

Genuine VC

However, for the past couple years, the metrics of “success” with early-stage digital media startups (especially consumer-facing ones) have clearly focused on distribution, as opposed to monetization. Now the new plan for distribution is facilitation through low-cost viral strategies via Facebook and other social media. And even beyond the media front, there’s a renewed sense of optimism that the Enterprise2.0

The Swinging Pendulum Between Distribution and Monetization

Genuine VC

However, for the past couple years, the metrics of “success” with early-stage digital media startups (especially consumer-facing ones) have clearly focused on distribution, as opposed to monetization. Now the new plan for distribution is facilitation through low-cost viral strategies via Facebook and other social media. And even beyond the media front, there’s a renewed sense of optimism that the Enterprise2.0

It's Always Sunny on the Web

Genuine VC

There is certainly a natural progression of the web as a media outlet and how we use it – we first learned to receive information with this new medium, then we learned to look for it proactively. Ben Kunz wrote an interesting article in this week’s BusinessWeek, but it wasn’t the controversial and inaptly-named title (“ Why Widgets Don’t Work ”) which caught my attention. Rather, it was his framework for the “history of the web” which did.

It's Always Sunny on the Web

Genuine VC

There is certainly a natural progression of the web as a media outlet and how we use it – we first learned to receive information with this new medium, then we learned to look for it proactively. Ben Kunz wrote an interesting article in this week’s BusinessWeek, but it wasn’t the controversial and inaptly-named title (“ Why Widgets Don’t Work ”) which caught my attention. Rather, it was his framework for the “history of the web” which did.

Our Second Rotation Investment

Genuine VC

In conjunction with this funding event, the board is expanding to include myself and Mike Tyrrell from Venrock, Austin Ligon (co-founder and former CEO of CarMax), Henry Vogel (Chief Revenue Officer at Quigo and a former eBay executive), and Ashton Peery (former CEO of Top Ten Media), along with both Rousseau Aurelien and Israel Ganot. Do you have a drawer or closet full of old cell phones, iPods, and digital cameras?

Our Second Rotation Investment

Genuine VC

In conjunction with this funding event, the board is expanding to include myself and Mike Tyrrell from Venrock, Austin Ligon (co-founder and former CEO of CarMax), Henry Vogel (Chief Revenue Officer at Quigo and a former eBay executive), and Ashton Peery (former CEO of Top Ten Media), along with both Rousseau Aurelien and Israel Ganot. Do you have a drawer or closet full of old cell phones, iPods, and digital cameras?

The Shift Towards Universal Search

Genuine VC

Much like the situation for natural text search in the late 90's, there is a new land grab for top search placement for these new media formats (like images, podcast, and video). Whether it's in categories of travel, shopping, and other transaction-oriented content, video and other media types will be useful and important search results in the coming years.

Four Branches of the Green Web

Genuine VC

From my perspective, it’s worth exploring the role of digital media in this movement. Big media companies are also jumping on board – MSNBC has an Environment channel online and Discovery acquired the aforementioned TreeHugger company just last week). Large non-media branding-based corporations, like Starbucks, in an attempt to enhance their eco-friendly image are also sharing information via the web.

Seven Coming Digital Uber-trends which Are Ripe for Startup Opportunities

Genuine VC

And so I thought it would be good post to highlight what are some very important uber-trends which starting to emerge in the digital media space. Being in the venture capital industry, I find that sometimes it is worthwhile to take a step back from the day-to-day to take a look at the large impending trends which are just beginning to affect us.

Why Your Brand’s Social Media Impact is Low

Brandanew

The client had just finished their “father’s day campaign” and the social media impact on sales seemed a little disappointing. Plenty of big and small businesses are over investing in social media without a large return. The Statistics and Reported Social Media Impact.

7 Social Media Marketing Habits That Lead To Failure

Brandanew

If your campaigns are using a range of social media marketing habits that lead to failure, then it's time to make a change. Social media marketing (SMM) not working is simply a sign that you need to identify what's going wrong and try again. Enroll For A Digital Media Course Today!

11 Best Social Media Tools For Small Businesses And Individuals

Brandanew

But does it all end at fancy social profiles or does social media marketing run deeper? Social media marketing isn’t just about creating a profile, posting a few pictures of cats and dogs and running a couple of ad-campaigns. Which social media tools can you use?

A Day In The Life of A Social Media Manager

Brandanew

One may think social media managers are very lucky. But the truth is that a true social media manager has to work hard as any other worker in a modern organization. So, let us have a look at a typical work day of a social media manager.

Why Do B2B Companies Need To Prioritize Social Media

Brandanew

If you’re wondering whether your B2B company need to prioritize social media, this is for you. Most B2C businesses have gone totally social , with major consumer brands investing a good amount of their time and money on social media, but is it of any worth for B2B companies?

2016 Social Media Trends And Statistics That Were Crazy!

Brandanew

Social Media has become an essential part of everyone’s life, it is addictive! However some social media trends and statistics have really been crazy! Not sure how to work with social media? 2016 Social Media Trends And Statistics That Were Crazy!

Is Social Media Making Us Stupid?

Brandanew

In their contemplative moments, many people do ask: is social media making us stupid? Debate: Is Social Media Making Us Stupid For Real? Who’s Using Social Media And How? Most social media usage by adults happens during work hours. The Social Media Cons .

How To Revolutionize Your Social Media

Brandanew

Before, I start, here’s a quick reminder: Why is social media helpful? ’ How To Revolutionize Your Social Media. RELATED: How can you get more social media fans ? Social media should be treated as what it is, a virtual society. Share Multi-Media content.

How To Identify A Good Social Media Strategist

Brandanew

A social media strategist is a job title of current times. Even five years ago many small companies were iffy about hiring someone purely for social media. There are a ton of people in the market who claim to be Social Media experts and it’s often possible to make hiring mistakes.

How Can You Get More Social Media Fans?

Brandanew

Building up a social media following can be a very tedious affair. And thus, some new businesses and Startups end up committing the cardinal sin of purchasing more social media fans from dubious sources. These are legit ways to grow your social media fans.

How Restaurants Are Using Social Media Effectively (And What You Can Learn)

Brandanew

When all businesses are using social media , why should restaurants be left behind? Let us have a look at how restaurants are using social media effectively and what you can learn from them (you could tailor them to your industries too!).

10 Social Media Terms That You Must Know!

Brandanew

Social media like most other fields is full of terminology that sometimes you’re even embarrassed to be asking about, because these are used so much. Not knowing the meaning of a few unique social media terms can hinder your very understanding of the issues you face.

Israeli Consumers Prefer ONLINE Media

VC Cafe

Israelis Value Online Media 1.5x More Than Offline Media- Highest in Global Survey. Digital media is a recent phenomenon in Israel. In a survey released this week by Google and BCG , among the 11 countries surveyed, Israelis ascribed the most value to their online media.

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