Scoble: hit man of Silicon Valley?

Today a “journalist” (Dan Lyons) says I have been hitting up VCs to start my own fund.

Really? I didn’t know that!

For the record, I’m not raising a fund. This article is NOT accurate.

But, it sure comes up in conversation a lot. At two events tonight it came up. First, I was interviewing Wealthfront’s CEO Andy Rachleff. That interview is here and it’s an interesting business which is helping people with their investing in a new way (everyone who has $5,000 and up, that is). At that interview we talked about what being an investor is all about and after the interview was over the question about whether I would do my own fund came up. Andy has been a VC for a long time, so I listened to his advice, which he offered.

Later I was at a business school event at Stanford where there was a panel of venture and angel investors. Afterward they crowded around me and asked me why I haven’t done a fund yet.

Truth is my life rocks and I am not sure I want to screw that up. See, investors do a lot of the same things I’m doing (networking, watching how things spread, and hear lots of pitches) but they also do a lot of things I don’t like (board of directors meetings, negotiating, saying no, etc etc). I’m not sure I want to give up my great life where I do almost only things I love to do (which is talk with people about technology, innovation, and their companies) just for a chance to make some real money. So far I’ve resisted that path, even turned down $500,000 to start my own business last year.

Anyway, I’ve written tons about this issue on Dan Lyon’s Google+ account. If you care about what happened, and the way this “journalism” got reported you can read these posts:

1. Dan Lyons claims I have a fund and am hitting up VCs to join it. Dan wrote a followup post that he was taking heat from commenters.

2. Dan wrote about my correction to his story and that I claimed it wasn’t true. It wasn’t. In the comments there I further explain myself.

3. Dan apologized to me and tried to explain more about his source’s claims (which are bull, I’ve never had a fund).

Anyway, it’s sort of flattering to have everyone thinking I’m doing a fund. Maybe I should take Mike Arrington out to dinner and learn what it’s like…

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One other thing. Someone asked me what I thought of what Mike Arrington is doing with his CrunchFund.

I think it’s great. It’s also great that he gets to tell me what companies he’s interested in.

I know where his conflicts come from. I’m an intelligent reader. If he pushes a company I know that it might be because he has a financial stake in the company. I’m totally not bothered by this. If you are, there are PLENTY of other tech outlets to read. I have a Twitter list with almost 500 tech news brands in it. In fact, Arrington and his blog aren’t in there because I don’t look at Arrington as a news outlet, although I do look at investors as interesting people to watch. I have a separate Twitter list of tech industry investors.

Seems to me it’s pretty easy as a reader to get lots of news, both biased and unbiased, so it’s not something that keeps me up at night.

My contract with you is that I will tell you when I have conflicts of interest and then you’ll have to decide which list you put me on, or even if you keep listening to me. Fair enough?

UPDATE: Dan just wrote another article, which got me to respond again over on Google+. This will be my final comment on the saga.

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Pinterest is to Facebook as Storify’s new iPad app is to Twitter

Back in 2010 I wrote this article about the need for content curation software.

Storify is it.

Here’s a look at its new iPad app which is very awesome.

Why is this important?

Well, let’s look at the past 10 years.

2000 (about) Blogging with Blogger or Radio Userland.
2007 Twitter
2008 Facebook
2010 Tumblr
2011 Pinterest and Google+.

What’s the trend? With each year pushing content out to friends is getting easier.

Storify is even easier than Pinterest, in quite a few ways. Finding new content is awesome. Dragging it around and redesigning it is mondo easy (try to move a Pin from one pinboard to the next in Pinterest and you’ll see that Storify’s iPad app is a lot easier).

Anyway, this is being used by tons of news organizations around the world and the White House and even big influential conferences like the World Economic Forum.

Good job Storify.

Why I am tired of Silicon Valley’s focus on virality, Glassmap is far worse than Path ever was

You might have seen all the people beating up on Path about two weeks ago. But that really is pretty benign behavior, in my experience, when compared to companies, like Glassmap, who really are hurting the entire app economy.

How? I show how in this video.

Glassmap automatically posted to my Facebook feed when I simply started the app up. Yeah, it gave me lots of lame ass warnings but this is crazy behavior that just needs to be stopped.

Who is to blame?

Silicon Valley’s investors. In this case Paul Graham (Glassmap is a Y Combinator company, which really should be better than this as Silicon Valley’s premier startup incubator). They push these companies to go as viral as possible. So all these companies push as hard as they can to get viral.

Here’s what you should do as a developer:

1. Only put stuff on my feed AFTER YOU SHOW ME WHAT WILL GO THERE.
2. Only put stuff on my feed AFTER YOU GIVE ME THE ABILITY TO CHANGE IT.

This stuff bugs me A LOT MORE than what Path did.

It earns an instant delete and a bad rating on the app store.

By the way, Sam Grossberg points out that it’s a violation of Facebook Platform Policy: “(https://developers.facebook.com/policy/): “You must not pre-fill any of the fields associated with the following products, unless the user manually generated the content earlier in the workflow: Stream stories[…]””

I guess that’s why Mark Zuckerberg liked my post earlier today about this topic.

Why is this bad? Because a lot of users have told me that they never load apps anymore because they are scared that the apps will put crap on their feeds and they won’t know about it, or see it.

Inexcusable developers. Let’s do better!