In the not-too-distant future most venture capital firms will have at least one blog. They will be as common as websites, but far more useful.
Venture capital, when all is said and done, is a relationship business. And blogs, by their interactive nature, foster relationships and bring together like-minded people.
Think about all the unsolicited business plans that come in over the transom. Someone in your firm has to read them because there’s always a chance that one of them will be worth following up on. What if you could reduce the clutter and increase the number of pitches that you actually want to read? It really is as simple as starting a blog and letting entrepreneurs know what you’re interested and what you’re not interested in.
Just ask Martin Tobias of Ignition Partners or the dozen or so other VCs who keep blogs. Tobias tells writer Tom Stein in this month’s Cover Story about an entrepreneur who read one of his posts and approached him with a deal. That particular deal didn’t pan out, but the entrepreneur continued to follow Martin’s line of thinking by reading his blog and came back with another deal that Martin is seriously thinking about funding.
One likely byproduct of blogs will be that brands will move away from venture firms to individual partners, because blogs separate real thought leaders from those who talk a good game. If an entrepreneur has two similar term sheets in front of him, wouldn’t he be more attracted to the one from the VC who has shown (through his blog) that he truly understands a particular market or technology?
Mind you, blogs won’t replace pitch meetings and breakfast at Buck’s. An entrepreneur who loves a VC’s blog may find out in a face-to-face meeting that the blogger has the personality of toast. The blog just gives the relationship a head start, so that two people are already on the same page when they first shake hands.