I’m Trying to be Lijit
I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past six months thinking about the current dynamics of information on the web. I wrote briefly about TAR (trust, attention, and relevance) at the end of last year and have intermittently sprinkled tidbits about what I’ve been thinking about and seeing in other posts. However, I decided to spend some real time thinking about this, work with several of my portfolio companies on both the publisher and subscriber sides of this problem, and explore lots of new potential investments around this issue. I’ve chosen to call it “dynamics of information” deliberately – what I’ve been pondering is a broader issue than any of the specific TAR topics, although there is definitely value in attacking them one by one (which several of the companies I’m working with are doing.)
I’ve made a few new investments addressing the “dynamics of information” problem. Interestingly (at least to me), two of them are in Boulder – one of them – Lijit – was profiled yesterday in the Boulder Daily Camera.
I led a seed investment in Lijit which closed recently. Lijit is the evolution of a project that Lijit founder Stan James created called Outfoxed. Seth Goldstein – CEO of Root Markets – introduced me to Stan last fall – we got together for the first time for pizza at Pasquini’s in Louisville over Thanksgiving last year. At the time Stan was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with Outfoxed, needed to spend some time finishing up his master’s thesis, and was in the process of moving to Boulder. I liked him immediately, loved what he was working on and thinking about, made a bunch of local introductions, and kept in touch.
Three months ago my long time friend Todd Vernon was looking for a new gig. Todd was the co-founder / CTO of Raindance, a Boulder-based company that I was part of the seed round funding for. Raindance went public, survived the Internet bubble, built a successful and profitable business, and was ultimately acquired this spring by West. Todd left after the acquisition closed. I connected him with a few folks, including Stan. They got to know each other and decided two months ago to go into business together.
Lijit is driving hard to a beta release in September. If you are interested in seeing what it’s about, sign up to be on the beta list.