Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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Monthly Archives for 2010

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Another reason to blog...

Last week Michael Arrington of Techcrunch ran a small entry about two deals we've funded -  Aggregate Knowledge and BazaarVoice.  He was kind enough to include a link to the First Round Capital website.

When I took a look at my Google Analytics data for, I was surprised to see the real surge in traffic that one (well-placed) blog link can bring.  Our page views increased about 8x the normal daily average.  Not bad for one link in a small story.
Just today I took a look out our dealflow log -- where we log all inbound dealflow.  I was surprised to see a corresponding spike in dealflow -- and that the increase in submissions persisted far longer than the increase in web traffic. 

It got me wondering - what deals have I missed out on by not being part of the online conversation?

Why I haven't blogged...

For the last three years, I've frequently been asked why I don't blog.  Here was my typical reply:

  1. I'm afraid that people would realize that I'm not that smart.
    Put me in a one-hour meeting, and I have can typically impress people.  I can hold my own for an hour -- giving a good performance -- sounding informed, knowledgeable, funny and generally make a good first impression.  But with the pressure to post frequently -- and sound really smart on an ongoing basis -- I'm afraid that the world will learn what I already know...that I'm not really that smart.  Just lucky.
  2. If I did have a unique thought/perspective, why share it?
    I really believe in the power of an elegant, simple idea.  Combine the best of eBay and Amazon and create a marketplace to let people sell their old books, CDs and movies (  Create an anti-spam router (Turntide).  Sometimes the most "obvious" (after the fact) ideas are the most powerful.  And since it's so rare for me to have a truly original idea (see item #1 above), I've often wondered why I'd share it.
  3. You can't say what you really want to say.
    Most VC bloggers can't/won't say what they really want to say -- or what you really want to read.  I've seen some bad pitches, awful term sheets, and bad behavior by startups and VC's alike -- but I'd never blog about them.  Instead, I'd end up posting yet another "how to give a good VC pitch" or "how to run a good board meeting post"...when deep down I'd really want to post about the unbelievably naive entrepreneur who wants to build a "tropical fish vertical search engine."
  4. I don't have the time.
    There are currently 364 unanswered emails in my inbox.  I have 14 phone calls to return.  Six meetings a day.  I'm currently sitting on the redeye flying back from SFO to PHL. I have a wife.  Two kids.  If I had an extra hour a day, I'd rather spend it sleeping.

So why start blogging now?  Candidly, I'm not sure.  Maybe, it's because I hope it will provide me with a way to maintain an ongoing dialog regardless of which coast I'm currently on.  Hopefully I'll conclude that the benefits of a public dialog/discussion outweigh the invested time.  Perhaps, I'll realize that I do have something interesting to say.  Perhaps not.  Maybe this will end up a "New Years Resolution Blog" -- starting out with the best of intentions, but getting abandoned after a few months. Or, perhaps this blog will end up being a hype-blog for our growing portfolio companies (although I hope not).  For now, call it an experiment.