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Yet Another (ex-)VC Blog

Venture Capital Jobs

Archive for October 2008

Congrats to Mashlogic on launch of their semantic web plugin

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Mashlogic takes back the web

Mashlogic "takes back the web"

I was happy to see a TechCrunch article last night that indicated Mashlogic had publicly launched.  I have been using their alpha and beta versions of the Firefox plugin over the last few months and have been really happy with its ability to enrich the web-browsing experience.

In short, Mashlogic identifies text within web pages that match various data sources (LinkedIn profiles, Yelp restaurant listings, Amazon for book titles, etc) and then creates links in the page that weren’t already there.  This enables users to get a richer web experience and broader array of content, beyond what the publisher has provided.

Congrats to Ranjit and team for launching a great product!  It was well worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what other interesting and useful features they’ll build over time.

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Written by John Gannon

October 12, 2008 at 1:02 pm

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A voice of reason

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One of the experts in the VC business, Alan Patricof, is urging restraint and reason in the light of all the turmoil in the markets.  I’ll leave you this weekend with his words of wisdom (via The Deal).

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Written by John Gannon

October 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm

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Ten cents of venture capital career advice

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…that, and ten cents will get you a ten cent cup of coffee :)

OK…enough joking around…I’ve just compiled a new page that is a series of links related to venture capital careers and finding jobs in the industry.

Let me know what you think of the page and if you have additional resources to add, just put it in the comments and I’ll get it on the main page at some point.

Written by John Gannon

October 9, 2008 at 11:07 pm

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This is how to treat a customer

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I decided to try Zappos for the first time this week and see what all the hype was about.  When I ordered I wanted the shoes delivered to me at work, not home and so they emailed me and said they needed some additional information to verify my credit card.  I sent them the information and didn’t think much of it.

Today, I got this message:

Although you originally ordered Standard (4 to 5 business days) shipping
and handling, we have given your order special priority processing in
our warehouse and are upgrading the shipping and delivery time frame for your order.
Your order will ship out today and be given a special priority shipping status so that
you can receive your order even faster than we originally promised!

Now that is how to treat a customer!

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Written by John Gannon

October 9, 2008 at 10:51 pm

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Get creative!

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One topic that’s on every venture firm’s mind is the declining state of the economy, and how it will affect both existing portfolio companies and potential new investments.  The consensus seems to be that the investment pace will slow down and that good deals will be priced more attractively.  Also, firms are beginning to think about their capital allocation strategy (how much $ for new investments vs existing investments) and how they may alter their deal sourcing and screening process.

One thing that I’d like to hear people talking more about is how we as an industry can get more creative in the types of deals we’re doing and the opportunities we’re pursuing.  For example, there are some great secondary market opportunities out there and although there are secondaries firms that focus on those types of deals, there is no reason that more traditional VCs couldn’t play in that space.  Or maybe there are some undervalued startup company technology assets and intellectual property that could be aggregated under one roof and operated as a new company.  I’m also curious as to how alternative venture models that were born prior to this market downturn (like Betaworks, for example) will fare in this choppy market.

I don’t know the answers and as you can tell, I’m just thinking out loud.  However, I think that necessity will probably breed some innovation as VC firms try to figure out their next move and explore some paths that are slightly untraditional. I’ll keep my eyes peeled…

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Written by John Gannon

October 8, 2008 at 6:17 pm

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LinkedIn – Let me have a sig file

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Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Here’s a feature request for one of my favorite services, LinkedIn.

I’d love to be able to have a signature attached to the end of my InMails and introductions.

I realize someone can mouse over my name and see the basics of my profile and click through to get more detail, but a signature lets them get the key contact information plus anything else I want to quickly share with them – right then and there.  Plus, they can’t mouse over or click through on the email version of the request for contact – they’d have to go onto the LinkedIn site.

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Written by John Gannon

October 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm

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Must have Mac add-on – Quicksilver

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An entrepreneur just turned me on to a great tool for Mac OS X called Quicksilver.  The plugin provides a very fast Spotlight-like search function but with a more slick and speedy interface.  It does a bunch of other stuff too, but right now that basic functionality is great and meets my needs.

Now my control (Quicksilver), option (Ubiquity), and command (Spotlight) keys are all taken!  Hope I don’t need to install any more plugins that need those hotkeys :)

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Written by John Gannon

October 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm

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