free html hit counter April 2011 - Page 2 of 2 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Go Forth And Invest

By - April 11, 2011

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This headline caught my eye this morning: US VCs Raised $7.7 Billion In Q1, Highest Influx In A Decade. Of course, if you‘ve been following the news in our industry, you know there’s a raging debate on over whether we are in “another bubble.” This news will of course be interpreted as evidence that, in fact, we are back to bubbly levels…after all, one decade ago was when we had our last big hurrah, right? When VCs gave mostly incompetent founders way too much money, and the whole thing came crashing down around us.

Well, yes….and ten years ago, there was no way our industry, social culture, or technological infrastructure was ready for the big ideas VCs wanted to fund.

This time, I believe, is different.

There, I said it. Now go invest those billions, VCs, and go spend them, entrepreneurs. It’s about time we believed again.

Though, I must admit, the constant specter of the dot com bubble is a healthy thing – it keeps most of us focused on creating value, rather than simply scheming on how to make a quick buck.

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Watch This Space: The Next Generation of "Social Networks" Won't Look Like Facebook.

By - April 07, 2011

Lately in talks and private conversations, I’ve been thinking out loud about the role of Facebook in our lives. It’s an extraordinary service (and company), and deserves its extraordinary valuation. But its approach to our “social graph” is limiting, as I and others have pointed out quite a bit.

While in Mexico I had the chance to sit with a couple of entrepreneurs who have an idea I feel is deeply *right* about social networking, and it couldn’t be further from how Facebook works today. I can’t outline what the idea was, but I can say that it hit the same nerve, that we are on the precipice of entirely new ways of thinking about our relationship to others as leveraged over digital platforms, and while Facebook may well be the oxygen or the landmass of this ecosystem, it won’t be the entire ecosystem itself.

To that end, this piece in TNW hits on some parts of what I’m on about. In it, the author writes:

Just as Google had early dominance in lighting up a portion of the web, Facebook has early dominance in lighting up a portion of the world’s social graph. But much like the Dark Web, there exists network upon network not yet graphed by Facebook, waiting to be mapped, organized, and optimized for communication.

I agree, and think there are many, many new places to create value here.

Guy's Enchantment

By - April 03, 2011

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I’m a Guy Kawasaki fan, so this isn’t really a “review” as much as an appreciation for his new book Enchantment. I read it over this weekend, it’s the kind of book you could skim in an hour, or spend a lot of time with. I fell somewhere in the middle, stopping every so often to consider his advice and apply it to situations I find myself in all the time. (Disclosure: Guy works with my company FM in various ways, but I’m writing this mainly because Guy, in his enchanting way, asked me to blog my thoughts here.)

Enchantment is, in essence, a book of simple advice for succeeding in business, and I found myself agreeing with most of it. Guy is a folksy writer and he loves simple anecdotes, the book is full of them. I rolled my eyes when he encouraged us to “make a checklist,” or to smile when meeting someone, and smile with integrity at that. But he’s right, and I realized that every time I see Guy, or see pictures of him, he’s got the real deal smile working, and it really does work to put whoever he’s meeting into an open frame of mind.

Another little gem was his advice to get to know the public person you are about to meet with. I tell my sales team this all the time – nearly everyone in our business has a public face – flickr and twitter streams, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, etc. I’m always astounded when folks don’t take the time to get to know the people they’re trying to do business with. There’s almost always a shared story, passion, or anecdote buried in someone’s public lifestream, and taking the time to pay attention to that is always appreciated.

Guy wraps up all his advice in the concept of being “enchanting,” and I get the idea, but it seems to me it comes down to another simple rule: Be a good, highly engaged person, and expect those you work with to be the same. He ends the book with a warning about how not to become enchanted by those who seem to follow his advice, but are in reality just snake charmers. As we all know, there are plenty of those folks out there as well.

Many would benefit from reading Enchantment solely for Guy’s chapter on managing Twitter, he’s clearly a master at it. He follows that with advice on most of the other major platforms (Facebook, blogs, etc), and these alone would justify the purchase, to my mind. Get Guy’s book, it’s worth the investment.