Archives for January 2006

Scoble’s searching for emails…

Appearantly Scoble was trying to contact someone… Couldn’t find any contact info on that person’s website. So what does any good “edge case” do? Enter Google, Yahoo, or MSN. A simple search will oftentimes turn up a contact of some sort for the person you’re looking for. Robert wants to make it simpler though…

But, this all got me thinking. What if we could get things into search engines? What if we could just post one post with all the stuff you’d want to appear in Google or MSN or Yahoo for when people search for your name? Wouldn’t that be cool? I think so. It’d let me get some sleep.


Here’s my post for the search engines:

Robert Scoble’s email:
Robert Scoble’s cell phone: 425-205-1921
Robert Scoble’s mailing address: 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052
Robert Scoble’s birthday: 1/18/1965
Robert Scoble’s best friend: Dave Winer
Robert Scoble’s significant other: Maryam Ghaemmaghami (married November 2, 2002).
Robert Scoble’s offspring: Patrick Scoble (born January 14, 1994).

I don’t think that I really want that much of my info floating around the net, but I’ll play along with a few of the more simpler bits.

Shane Ede’s Email:

Shane Ede’s Mailing Address: 914 2nd Ave. NE, Jamestown, ND 58401

Shane Ede’s Birthday: 9/14/1979

Thats it though. I really don’t see any good point for the rest to be floating around out there. Scoble also suggests putting our own names into the search engine.

By the way, have you searched for your name lately on Google? They’ve been displaying more stuff lately.

I did. Appearantly, there is a fairly well known watch repairman in Canada that shares my name. In all honesty, I use Thatedeguy as my online “handle” much more than I ever use Shane Ede. So maybe I should add the following to the post:

Thatedeguy’s Email:

Thatedeguy’s Mailing Address: 914 2nd Ave. NE, Jamestown, ND 58401

Thatedeguy’s Birthday: 9/14/1979

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Google and Napster? Googster.

Reuters began reporting earlier today that Google is in talks with Napster to create an “alliance” that could include a purchase of Napster.  Google immediately denied the rumor.  They all deny these rumors at first.  There was a rumor about Digg getting bought by Yahoo the other day that we wrote about on Supergeekblog.  Immediately denied by Kevin Rose.

The facts are that Napster already has a reported 500,000 subscribers who all pay.  Google?  They have nothing more than a domain( that they bought back in 2003. So would it make sense for them to enter into a alliance with Napster? Yes.  Would it make sense for them to buy Napster? Maybe.

There have been an abundance of purchase lately, with only a few of them coming from google.  It’s not exactly a secret that Google would like to add a music store to their ever expanding portfolio.  Having a ready made half mil of subscribers makes Napster an attractive target.

According to the article on the, Napster is set to announce it’s third quarter financial results on February 8th.  Look for the Google-Napster talk to heat up a little if the numbers are better than the $13.6 million loss in the previous quarter.

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More on the future of VC

My previous post about the future of VC caught a few eyes, one of which was Jeff Nolan of Venture Chronicles. Jeff and I have been trading comments back and forth on my original post and I’ve not only learned a few new things, but feel that maybe I should flesh out my VC idea a little in an effort to eliminate some confusion and deliniate the boundaries of the idea. I feel that it is important to mention here that I have no experience in the VC field and I am fairly unfamiliar with investment law. I do think that this is a viable model and with the proper guidance from lawyers, could work. So here are some basic parts:

  • The site would not be subject to investment law or the investment law side of it would be worked out. The reasoning behind this is that if operated along the lines of the Ebay model, it would actually only be facilitating the transaction, not participating in it.
  • There would have to be some sort of regulation as to how the money is transfered.  We don’t want to see people sending someone $1000 for a startup that never reaches full funding and not getting their money back.  My thoughts on this is to have some sort of escrow account for the money that wouldn’t be accessed until the full funding amount was reached.
  • There would have to be a lot of transparency.  As an investor, I’m not gonna just invest in something without seeing some of the financials.  Perhaps a non-disclosure in the membership aggreement for the site?  Or perhaps just a non-disclosure at the financial level on a per startup basis?

I envision this becoming something that VC firms as well as private individuals would visit when looking for a more non-traditional way to invest their money.  I think it goes without saying that the risk would be a lot higher than your average CD or money market account, but the potential returns could make up for that.

I also envision this being not solely for the big startups.  I think it would be amazing to be able to search for the company that is looking for $100,000 to start up a mom and pop store somewhere right alongside the company that is looking for $5,000,000 to start the next Amazon.  Too many of the smaller startups are left to fend for themselves with the SBA and financial institutions because most VC’s won’t touch something that small because the profits are relative to the investment.  An investment of $100,000 may return 20% but an investment of $5,000,000 that returns 3% or less still ends up with more dollars flowing back to the VC.  Most private investors like myself would be extremely happy to earn 20% on our money and don’t have the funds to throw $5,000,000 around.

Anybody out there with experience with the legal side of this that would like to leave comments?  I’m interested to see if I am really just blowing smoke or if this could have legs.

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The future of VC?

Over the weekend, a discussion blossomed(thanks to Dave Winer) about the future of Venture Capital. Then everybody else jumped on board. Scoble, Doc, Ensight, CrunchNotes and Nolan just to name a few.

While they all make excellent points. I think they all missed an important idea. Every last one of them talks incessantly about new ideas. About how there are so many good ideas out here in the ether that never go anywhere because of the current structure of VC. They all make excellent suggestions for the future of VC and the changes that should be made.

So what did they miss?

A VC structure that I really wish existed… And I don’t think that I’m alone. Winer talked about the integration of users as shareholders in the VC firm, but why not take it a bit further and make the users the shareholders in the startup itself? Sure there is more risk, but if you are a user who wants more hands on control over where your money goes… Why not invest yourself. Of course, not everyone has a couple of million sitting around waiting for a venture to invest in, so we have to conglomerate. That has been the traditional role of the VC firm. Conglomeration of the money. Problem is that usually when the VC firm makes money off of their investment, the user doesn’t really see much of that money. Problem being that the profit usually goes to the staff of the VC firm and to research and other various pet projects.

So how do we accomplish this? I envision the Ebay/Craigslist of VC. A bulletin board where the the owners of the venture can post their venture with the investment opportunity and offers. Where the users can browse and can invest at will. Somewhere where a white collar joe schmoe like myself could go and invest $1000 in the next digg. The risk would be great for me, but there would be a lot of smaller ventures that would receive funding because their wasn’t a VC firm inbetween filtering what was worthy of investment. Sure they are the experts, but even experts mess up once in a while.

Perhaps a social rating system that would allow the users of the bulletin board to rate the venture? The better the rating, the better chance of not losing your money?

I don’t imagine that this would be something that is forthcoming. It takes Dave Winer‘s ideas a little further and would give the users he mentions the ability to share in some of the raw returns that traditionally, only VC firms have gotten.

Update: Even more conversation on the broken VC Model. Anne 2.0 , EarlyStageVC , Message , Techdirt, Kedrosky, Dodge, A VC Just to name a few more…
Update 2: I’ve posted a new post that more clearly explains the Ebay/Craigslist idea, read it here.

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