Daily Archives: February 23, 2012

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.