Monthly Archives: May 2010

The best you. . .

If you have kids and are like me you take lots of photos of them (my flickr account has more than 14,000 photos – most of them of Ethan and Erin). The dirty little secret is that the photos you see are the best ones. Today we snap LOTS of photos since there is not cost to do so. Sometimes we even edit them because the software is so cheap and easy to use. Of course this was not always the case.

For example, when I was a kiddo you didn’t take multiple shots of the same scene. You snapped a photo, hoped for the best and got it developed weeks later. Sometimes the picture was good, but mostly they were bad. Snapshots of the past are honest – true representations of what we looked like. I would argue snapshots of today are glamor shots in comparison.

Jennifer scanned a bunch of photos my mom gave me and I posted them to my Facebook account. Some are good, but most are a little rough – that is reality. The pictures of our kids are a filtered version of reality – something less than real. I am not sure this matters and I am not suggesting we do anything about it – just making an observation.

Did I mention that Jason Chen was an idiot?

Oh and so is Nick Denton. I have been meaning to write this post for a while. If you are like me you have been following the ‘lost iPhone prototype saga‘ in the news. From the very first reports I had a feeling that Jason and the staff at Gawker Media had screwed up by ‘buying’ the ‘lost’ next-generation iPhone. Nick Denton the head of Gawker tweeted, “Yes, we’re proud practitioners of checkbook journalism. Anything for the story!

Really? You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that paying for stolen property is likely a very bad idea – and in most states a criminal act. Why not pay for the interview instead? Anything but paying someone for a phone you know for a FACT they don’t own. Surely Jason and Nick failed to talk to their lawyers. Even their email response to Steve Jobs seems sophomoric.

Passionate Investing? I have spent a lot of time talking to venture capital firms about making an investment in ShopSavvy. Several weeks ago I sat down at lunch with one firm and they asked me what it would take to get a deal done. I think they might have been asking me what sort of pre-money valuation I was looking for, but instead I suggested that I was looking for a firm that was as excited and passionate about my business as I am. I recognize that this excitement/passion standard might be somewhat unreasonable, but at the end of the day it is true.

We got together two weeks later at their offices to meet some of the other partners. Afterward they asked how my conversations with other potential investors/buyers were progressing. I explained that I was letting these other conversations run their course, but I wasn’t in a hurry to do anything. They explained that they would be taking their time as well, but they did want me to let them know if something changed so they could ‘hurry up and engage’. This comment got me thinking, ‘Maybe they aren’t as excited/passionate as I am’.

So many times entrepreneurs (like me) chase investors who aren’t really that passionate about our businesses. I want passion, excitement! I want an investor who is excited enough about my business to fund it regardless of what other investors think. I want an investor who is passionate enough to get a deal done even when no one else is forcing their hand. Am I asking for too much? Perhaps, but the venture capital world is changing – money isn’t necessarily the currency of the realm anymore. More and more startups are VERY capital efficient; however, there has been no such increase in passion-efficiency.