Techdirt is on holiday this Thursday and Friday. We'll be back with our regular posts on the weekend!Hide

Venture Capitalists Having Mid-Life Crisis 2.0

from the depends-on-how-you-look-at-it dept

In the last few months there have been a number of folks in the technology industry admitting they just don't get some of the new successful online services like MySpace and iTunes. That, apparently, has some venture capitalist types scared -- leading them to feel they need to act like they're young again to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, if you're an investor, you absolutely should do research and test out the various popular services to understand how they work. There's nothing wrong with that at all. However, the underlying theme seems to be that these VCs aren't just doing research to figure out what's going on or why a younger generation likes these services, but they're trying to actually be cool again themselves. They're trying to "fit in" with a demographic they're simply not a part of. Consider it the VC version of a mid-life crisis. It's good that they're exploring and trying to figure out why people are using these services -- but that doesn't mean they should pretend they're actually the market that these sites are targeting.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    mike, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:23pm


    Or maybe the older crowd are just a bit slower at getting around to new technology. I mean look at all the experiences these people have went through. All the people they have met and lost touch with over the years.. makes perfect since why they would want to use myspace. As for iTunes... come on man this is just the superior online music service, numbers in all demographics will rise when the total user base grows as much as it has for Itunes. Stop trying to sound like a "cool" and in the know youngster yourself man. Thanks to technologies like the internet and PCs being in almost everyone's home, there really is no need for discrmination like this anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Elif Tymes, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    Well of course, the internet is cool!

    Well, duh. Of course the only reason anyone would ever want to use a service/site that is used alot is because it's cool to do so!

    It has nothing to do with the quality of the service/site in and of itself, because it's *obviously* sub par. That's how it got all the people to use it and how it got regarded as cool in the first place.

    I mean, really. I don't use myspace because I don't like it's feature set. even if I was gauranteed "Uber Cool Geek of the Weel" status for using it, I wouldn't take it up.

    If I found a significantly more intuitive, user friendly, more what *I* wanted social networking site, I'd probably use it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:54pm

    Re: or...

    How bout you use a dictionary next time, cause your grammar sux!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    DeathToMyspace, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:58pm


    I'm sick of people referring to myspace. It's a site for those who don't realise the internet in general is more than just a place for porn and people to sell stuff... anyone can have a web page all for themself, add more to it than what's possible with myspace and with the current rates of having your own domain name get a Myspace is only popular because some imbeciles who don't know jack found it and went, cool, I can have a personal spot on the web, not realizing that option exists all over the web, it's an integral part of the web. Then they told some more jackass friends and slowly more and more people who can't even use a wysiwyg web page editor found out about it. Then at one unfortunate point, it had amassed so many brainless type users that other people just seemingly failed to notice it's a site that's an utter piece of garbage and eventually became "cool". If I here one more thing in the news about social networking (c'mon, the entire internet is a social network) and myspace I'm going to start taking hostages and start getting trigger happy [twitch][twitch] ... i mean... seriously... you want "web rage"... this is web rage @*#&@#*&@*&#$er

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Ummm..., Jul 10th, 2006 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: or...

    Since when does a dictionary cover grammar?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    anonymous coward, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    VC guys are always trying to act young, cool, and hip and usually fail miserably. Venture capital is the Corvette of jobs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Jackie, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Ughh...

    > Myspace is only popular because some
    > imbeciles who don't know jack found it and
    > went, cool, I can have a personal spot on
    > the web, not realizing that option exists
    > all over the web

    Oh, thank you for saying that! I feel I am in the minority in my personal hatred for mspace pages as well. I truly appreciate reading comments like yours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Coreyo, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 1:26pm

    deathtomyspace..come on

    yeah, people talk about social networking a ton...
    but it IS what keeps people around on those sites. facebook has done a much better job than myspace and will ultimately trump myspace because of crappy quality of service and lack of adding innovative features. facebook has an ever growing number of features that ultimately allow people to connect in various ways, through pictures, conversations, "groups", parties, and more. The parties feature is used a lot by college students. It allows colllege students instant communication to friends that they want to get drunk and party. Students don't have to call around to find out about parties. They most likely have a list of them to go to every weekend! You should be able to expect that facebook will add a "blog" feature(yeah, myspace has it, but it's not very usable). Eventually, it'll get videos too.

    The reason the VCs don't get it is because of stage of life. When you're in college or highschool, you're life is much more social than it is when you're old and grey. Life is all about the weekends, friends, and parties. Facebook has a good number of features without overdoing it or being completely cheesy. COOL EVEN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    DeathToMyspace, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    Re: dtms..come on

    That's kind of my point, what keeps people going to those sites is all the talk about social networking, yet the entire internet is one giant social network, what do you think is going on right now in the dialogs that follow these articles? The entire internet allows for instant communications, or as close to instant as you can get. Ever hear of e-mail? instant messaging? It isn't about stage of life for the VCs either, I'm 23 and since myspace became popular I've been scratching my head going "wtf? isn't that what the internet in general is about? social networking?" which leads me to my conclusion, myspace appeals to imbeciles that can't even use a wysiwyg web page editor and the ones that can are on there to be a part the new internet fad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    hans, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    all look same?

    The VC that emluated teen behavior doesnt really understand how to understand teens. Jeff Hawkin's book On Intelligence has a experiment called the Chinese Room that illustrates that emulation does not equate to intelligence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Dj RaYz, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Ughh...

    What about social sites before myspace, like friendster and stuff....they didn't really blow up, or go "big." Something about myspace that kids like that really stuck to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    DeathToMyspace, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 2:33am

    Re: Re: Ughh...

    It was nothing but luck, myspace probably had a simpler page setup process and that's what attracted all the stupid 14 year old girls who decide to get naked on the internet and cause such a fuss about the service in the news...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    DeathToMyspace, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 2:34am

    more simple... :P 5:37 am

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    SailorAlphaCentauri, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    You know what? We're not all imbeciles.

    Yes, I use MySpace [I also have a Facebook account, but I barely use it]...not because it's "cool" but because it's the only way that I've been able to keep in contact with some of my friends that I've lost touch with over the years. And, btw, I can (and have) designed my own webpages using xhtml without the benefit of a web editor (it was just me and Notepad). I get sick and tired of people who put down MySpace. It's in the media because it's become the whipping post for bad things that happen to people on the Internet. Dateline would mention it constantly in their reports on catching pedophiles, but it was fairly obvious that the programs used to catch those people were 90% of the time other services.

    Don't blame MySpace for the overuse of the phrase "social networking" [Well, you can if you want; it's still a free country the last time I checked]. It's not laziness that brings everyone there; it's convenience. I'm able to find people that I couldn't find on IM...people who don't use their computers on an hourly basis.

    I could just as easily say wtf when I try to figure out the mindsets of people who play WoW or EverCrack...but I accept that it's something I'm not into. I use MySpace, I'm not cool by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't see what's so f*cking bad about it that it engenders such hostility in people. Go ahead: Hate it, think it's nothing but garbage, don't use it! But don't look down upon people who do...we're not all emo teenagers and jail-bait. Some of us are adults who are trying to reconnect with people we want to communicate with with minimal cost.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    SailorAlphaCentauri, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Re: You know what? We're not all imbeciles.

    ...and I did say "with with" by accident. Didn't catch that before I posted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    airboy in honolulu, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 11:45am


    ok, needed to chime in on the myspace discussion.

    mySPACE has blown up not because of it is easy to put a site up, or because all there friends are on it. Those two reasons are by products due to the fact that the owners of mySPACE solicted (sp) bands and performers to put up myspace pages. By doing that people saw it as they can be cool like individuals in the entertainment industry. To me that was the brillant idea behind myspace.

    I do not have a myspace page, and I think in most cases myspaces page seem to have the look of a kid's bedroom.

    What America needs is a CyWorld site like the one in Korea. Mark my words that site will be coming over to America and will be the next hype site.

    As for VCs going through a mid-life crisis who really cares if they don't get it. Like it was said earlier, you do not have to act like the target audience you just need to know how to "read" them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2006 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: or...

    Actually almost any dictionary will have a grammar guide in the front section on how to write in english.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    andrea, Oct 2nd, 2006 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: or...

    y do u have to be so mean i bet ur grammar is no better than mine or his

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2006 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: or...

    Everyone's grammer is better than yours. Well, at least that of people who use entire words. Don't make yourself look ridiculous, just keep your mouth shut instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.