The Architect

Last week the CEO of one of the companies that I’m an investor in asked me why all the companies I was blogging about were Web 2.0 companies.  I despise the Web 2.0 label so this made me cringe and I asked him to give me more feedback.  We talked for a few minutes and he helped me see my blogging through a different filter than my brain.

I’ve always been a “thematic investor.” I pick a theme that I’m interested in that I think has a long term (greater than ten year) investment horizon, hope I’m a couple of years (vs. a decade) ahead of the curve, and then go to work with great entrepreneurs to create some companies.  Themes that you may have heard me talk about here including email, RSS, and the Implicit Web.

Over the last dozen years, I’ve refined my thinking about how this works and am confident that I’ve got an approach that will serve me well over the balance of my investing career (I figure I’ve got another twenty years in me.) 

One of themes I’ve mined successfully in the past is one I call “IT Management.”  As I’ve watched the shift to SaaS, Microsoft’s 2007 product release cycle, the rise of the Enterprise 2.0 meme (gack), and the reinvigoration of corporate IT spending, it’s clear that there are lots of nifty new product / company opportunities in this arena. 

However, I think there is something more profound going on.  Rather than invest in “security” or “application management”, I take a top down approach that is a result of my secret weapon, a person I call “The Architect” (the reference to The Matrix is deliberate.)  I’ll try to channel him more frequently on this blog to distract y’all from Web 2.0.

  • This is the kind of juicy stuff that keeps me coming back to your blog. And now, with references to The Architect and The Matrix, I’m salivating and speculating; I can’t wait for more.

  • I find it very enlightening when listening to others describe my thoughts and visions from their perspective. It usually places a slightly skewed (not in a non-constructive way) look at how I thought they viewed my thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading your “The Architect” references and thoughts.

  • Tim

    If you want more input about the web 2.0 applications you were talking about, head over here: There you can submit apps, get feedback, and comments!

  • Chip Schooler

    What you have turned up in your

  • Christian

    So you think you have Web 2.0 figured out, eh? What about the real earthquake-a-coming? Mobile! I guess there’s no “2.0” to mobile, but oh how marketing – and thus business models – are going to change. It’s just hard to see becauseof the lack of standards, the lack of deep penetration of US-based mobile content consumers, and the infrastructure in place. But once people see the real value behind hyper-local marketing, non-invasive (no pop-ups fit on a mobile screen) advertisting and the like, it’s a whole new, INTEGRATED marketplace between brick and mortar and online business. Check out I don’t know if it’s the one that’ll do it, but the seeds have been cast, I think…Cheers!