The vacation mentioned in the last post did not produce further posts, but it did permit some thinking about the direction of this blog and my writing in general.
That kind of introduction often precedes an announcement that the blogger in question is hanging it up. That's not the case here, but the nature of my writing is going to change. When I started the public version of Due Diligence, much of the material was by-product of research and analysis that I was doing for Pacifica Fund in the course of market and company level diligence (hence the title). Another substantial chunk of the material was my own reaction to seeing repeated misunderstandings or lack of knowledge regarding the venture processs among entrepreners and press, and was also the record of my internalizing the requirements of a new trade.
As the Fund's portfolio has matured, there's less open-ended investigation to recycle. The day-to-day information diet is much more in depth and focused on existing portfolio companies and their markets and opportunities. Perhaps needless to say, much of it is explicitly confidential, and very little is information that I'm going to tell over in a public venue. At the same time, the number of VC bloggers and the store of quality writings about the venture process have grown, and I see little incentive to gratuitously repeat myself or others in this venue.
The patient and long-suffering who have followed Due Diligence for some time will have observed a cluster of writing around the nature and evolution of the network as a medium, and the business and social consequences and drivers thereof. Most, thought not all, of those posts have been categorized "Citizens' Media". For better or worse, an examination of the Pacifica Fund portfolio will not find correlated investments, somewhat to the frustration of entrepreneurs who took these personal ramblings as a predictor of our collective strategy as a partnership.
That strain of writing and sporadic conversation is instead the reflection of my own long-held and deep interests. Information access has been a centerpoint of my intellectual activities since the early CD-ROM days of the mid-80s. In the intervening twenty years the real world status of that theme has moved from oddity - static textbases on silver discs, and academics debating backlinking schemes - to the core of an emerging information economy, and the cutting edge of intra- and inter-cultural conversations.
That's as far as I will currently go in articulating what will become the central theme of Due Diligence going forward. Those who know me well realize they are dealing with a confirmed intuitive, messy, up-from-the-bottom soul, who has learned to put on analytical clothing for the sake of colleagues and sometimes readers. In truth, many of my wanderings are based on instinct for what will become relevant, and I have learned to trust that instinct, even when I can't articulate it. Some portion of my blogging has taken the place of essays I formerly composed in personal notebooks, as I really am one of those who can often say: "I'll know what I mean when I hear what I say". (Where the heck did that phrase come from?) Rather than pin myself down with premature evaluation and commitment, all I can promise is that you'll witness some of that process.
As a result, I'll be going deeper on this central theme, which may variously show up as technical, business, or social topics. The overall DD rule of "no mercy" when it comes to jargon and backgrounding still applies. It's the net; I'll provide some starter links, the rest is up to you. And you'll still be
subjected treated to the record of my wanderings in the woods and occasional political fulminations.
Some grubby details:
Those who read the blog page itself rather than the feed are likely tired of the existing look. So am I. Expect some tinkering. IANA graphic designer, so please be merciful.
Trackbacks have been, alas, turned off. Typepad/SixApart seems to be unable to cope with a flood of trackback spam that would seem to me trivial to reject, and I'm tired of killing it manually. I'll try to watch the inbound traffic more closely and manually put up links to those who cite and comment in an interesting fashion. I'll enable comments on more posts, and see how that goes as well.
RSS feeds have been switched to summary mode, probably temporarily. I'm going to be posting some archival material that I may cite later. That's the only mechanism Typepad has for getting it into the database, and I'm assuming most readers don't care to look at the entirety of decade old texts.
More to follow.