How the pendulum does swing

October 1, 2006
By

One minute you’re a contrarian, the next you’re part of the herd!

One minute, Jajah, Rebtel and some of the other new entrants were darlings among the blogosphere, and the next minute they are dogs.

Jeff Pulver appears to have taken some offense over the bashing some of these recent players were taking by “know-it-all” bloggers. He says:

As if what they have to say about a company actually meant something more than just words….

If members of the Blogosphere are interested in having their opinion mean something significant, may I suggest they apply for a job at their local VC firm and see what happens? Or even better, if they discover a better way at solving a problem than currently exists, why not start a company that solves that problem and then go out and raise some money themselves?

Indeed. It is easy to be critical, especially when you have nothing at stake, or from the comfort of your W2-based living. I know this first hand, from both sides. It is so easy to slam a business plan with barely a glance. Most entrepreneurs and visonaries have a lot of sweat and blood in their visions, and to have it beaten mercilessly by someone in 10 seconds who appears totally ill-informed, can hurt, a lot.

Andy chimes in with a reality check too:

What everyone seems to have missed is that JaJah and Plaxo share a common backer, in Sequoia Capital.

He reminds us that, who’s behind a venture, particlarly the investors and board members, is as important as anything else in its success. That’s certainly true. Companies don’t win on technical merit or even having a great business proposition, alone. However, neither does lots of money and strong names behind a firm, ensure success. There are countless cases where scads of money were dumped into companies with powerful teams, and they still failed, often dramatically. Silicon Valley has wonderful resiliency, partially because it has a short memory – thank god.

The only thing we can say for certain about these firms, having recently received large VC investments, is that they are very good at selling themselves and raising money. If you believe they have a weak story, that only makes their self-promotion skills even more impressive. So perhaps that produces some jealousy among bloggers who could only dream of obtaining a VC term sheet.

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