Home > life > On founder blogs and startup valuations: Kosmix, Ning, and others

On founder blogs and startup valuations: Kosmix, Ning, and others

In the short amount of time since Anand (co-founder of Kosmix, the company that funds my rather expensive Star Wars costume habit) has edited a personal blog, I’ve become interested in the following question:

How much does a well-respected blog translate into tangible benefits for a startup? Can a blog’s impact be measured in terms of valuation dollars?

Anand started his blog a couple of months ago and has used it for the following reasons:

  • Trends and ideas related to the business of search. Kosmix is a player in the search ecosystem and these posts tell the world that we’re not a bunch of monkeys with a lot of VC dollars. It tells potential recruits, investors, advertisers and bystanders that we (or at least some of us) know what we’re talking about. It tells Stanford PhDs that we hire them for a good reason and that they’d feel at home with us.
  • Posts plugging the technology that portfolio companies are building. A great way to give a fledgling startup completely transparent, totally biased but technically strong point of view.
  • Details on conversations with tech heavy hitters like Peter Norvig. These depend upon the 1-2 punch of access that most of us don’t have and a degree of technical competence that most journalists don’t possess. Very unique, compelling content targeted at a niche audience of rabid tech heads.

You get the point. His blog is an excellent mouthpiece for him as an individual and for Kosmix as a company. I now routinely run into people in Silicon Valley who don’t know Kosmix but have heard of Anand’s blog. That is absolutely shocking.

Take another example: Marc Andreessen’s horribly brilliant blog that came out of nowhere with an absolute bang two years ago. Marc has publicly claimed (on his blog, where else!?) that he’d rather blog in his undies – stay with me here – than deal with reporters to plug his message.

But these 2 guys are established Silicon Valley commodities. What of those who aren’t well known and/or don’t have a few million safely tucked away under a mattress? That’s what leads me to be most impressed with Andrew Chen’s Futuristic Play, a highly thoughtful blog on web monetization models, virality and other things that I don’t quite understand. It so happens that Andrew is doing a startup with a good friend from Stanford, so I’ve been following the blog for quite some time and watching it grow from nothing to over 3000 subscribers (yikes!). If I were a VC, I’d put some money into the guy.

So the million dollar questions: how do you quantify this impact? If the value of PR is notoriously hard to measure in hard dollars, is this harder? And why hasn’t every founder/CEO in Silicon Valley gotten off their sorry asses and started a blog? Lastly, should I focus more on having a life than asking these questions?

Categories: life
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: