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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.