When I first started this blog on March 7, 2006, I had one thing in mind. I wanted to become visible as an angel investor in Colorado.
So in 2006, I figured I’d start covering companies. I started off doing so very diligently, spending real time covering interesting new companies like Rally and OpenLogic and Photobucket. And it was fun to be among the first in the country to blog about the Sketchup acquisition by Google and get hat tips from national blogs. I didn’t have my voice yet, and I was doing news-like stories, like you might find today on the excellent news site TechRockies. At that time, nobody was really focused on doing a TechCrunch for Boulder type of site. So I just naturally started doing that as I was meeting companies and looking for angel investments. It was a fun way to give some exposure to interesting new companies in the area.
As 2006 progressed, I started mixing in some general startup thoughts originating with others that I thought were interesting, and began mixing in some of my own experiences into the blog. All the while, I kept doing company profiles such as the birth of Lijit. I also mixed in some thoughts from some local events I went to like BarCamp.
At the end of 2006, after less than a year of blogging, I asked the readers for feedback. I said:
80% of my top ten posts were based on my experiences, observations, and advice. 20% were coverage of new Colorado startups. Clearly this tells me that I should keep writing the first type of post. The real question is: How valuable are the posts about new Colorado companies to you? Please comment on this so I have a better feel.
Reading that now, I can sense that even back then I enjoyed one type of post more than the other. Although the comments on that post were mixed, most people wanted to see a balance of both types of posts. So, always the CTO, I kept doing what the customer wanted. I wouldn’t learn until later that you blog for yourself, not for your readers.
So throughout 2007, I stuck to it, and tried to please the readers by covering lots of companies. This was helping me with my goal of visibility as an angel investor too, so it was fine. At the end of 2007, I had covered about 200 companies in the area in some way or another. And I had written about 200 more posts about my experiences or general thoughts on startups.
In the second half of 2007 my world changed significantly as I kicked off the first Techstars summer. My blog posts per week declined sharply. I was writing once every week or two, and it started leaning much more towards experience posts. I tried bringing on a few more writers to handle company coverage, but they had no real incentives to do a good job and quickly gave up the ghost. In 2008, it returned to “just me” and I probably only covered a dozen or so companies. But I kept blogging my experiences and opinions that I thought were relevant to startups.
Then more things started to change.
My twitter account naturally replaced much of my blogging. I honestly believe that if you want to know what events are going on around Boulder and hear the breaking news, you just have to follow a few people and you’ll hear plenty about that. There area handful of folks here who are in the startup scene and tweet anything of local interest regularly. It’s just easier to tweet the small and less thoughtful stuff than to blog it. So I quit doing that with the natural growth and relevance of twitter.
It’s hard for me to cover the events and new companies effectively. It takes real work. You can either do blurbs like TechRockies does, or you can do detailed and opinionated posts like I used to do. Now you’ve got RockyRadar who is on the scene, which I’m really happy about. They’re doing a great job of covering the events and new companies, and I feel relief. Their scope is a little broad for my interests, but it’s still hyperlocal and relevant. But these guys are working around the clock to do a good job. Trust me. I can’t do that anymore with Techstars happening in two cities and all my other small projects going on.
The gaps have been filled, and my goal has changed. I think I’m fairly well recognized as a visible software angel investor in Colorado. Now my goal is to share the experiences I’m having and lessons I’m learning that come from being directly involved in dozens of startups every year. It’s simple really – this blog is going to be what it’s already naturally become.
I won’t be soliciting or tracking down companies just to give me interviews or tell me what they’re all about just so I can cover them on the blog. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from them – I’m still actively investing. But I’ll let RockyRadar, W3W3, and the gang handle the news about these companies. Instead, I’ll try to blog more about what I’m passionate about: Startup ideas, angel funding, entrepreneurial ecosystems, tips for founders, and the like. If I naturally come across really interesting new companies in the area, then sure – I’ll still share my opinions on them.
So nothing is really changing from what you’ve been seeing here lately. I’m just focusing a little more on the unique value that I think I can provide, and on what I am doing and want to be talking about these days.
Apparantly there are 1400 of you who subscribe to this blog, which blows me away. Thank you for sticking with me and providing feedback along the way. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.