For the past few days I was in Chicago to attend the Tech Cocktail Conference. Congratulations to Frank Gruber and Eric Olson as the event was extremely successful and appeared to go off without a hitch. One of the afternoon panels was on raising venture capital and included an awesome lineup including Brad Feld, Eric Olson, Kirk Wolfe, Rob Schultz, Matthew McCall and Bruce Barron. I had the opportunity to ask the last audience question for the panel. I asked them if they blog and why they do or don’t.
It actually ended up being split about 50/50. The reason I asked was that one of the venture capitalists (VCs) had said toward the beginning of the panel that Brad Feld and Fred Wilson tend to end up getting the best deals because they are industry leaders. While I agree that most knowledgeable entrepreneurs will seek funding from these two, I also think that they will seek funding elsewhere.
In my opinion, one of the most important competitive advantages that Brad Feld and Fred Wilson have are their blogs. They are transparent in turn making them more trustworthy. In his blog post today Fred Wilson states, “If you want to be a top tier venture investor, you must be recognized as one of the experts in the field you invest in.” How do you become recognized as one of the experts?
According to Fred, “The way you do that is you work for at least ten years in the industry, getting operating experience, building a killer rolodex, and learning how the business works from the inside.” The way that you share your experience with others is by blogging. As you blog during the years that you gain experience, others also see this, learn from your expertise and eventually seek your expertise.
The key to blogging is the same as the key to working out: you must be persistent. You must also be consistent with your writing. Do this and you will suddenly be on the road toward becoming an industry leader. The amazing part is even with this knowledge, most people won’t do it. Just like everything else in life, they have excuses.
While boiling down the source of an individual’s lack of leadership to the lack of a blog is unfair, I frequently think that blogging could be one of the simplest solutions.