On Angels, Opportunities And Experience: Techdirt Welcomes Mark Fletcher To Our Board

from the exciting-times dept

Some of you may have noticed (judging by the emails we've received, more than a few of you) some reports last week about how Techdirt had raised an angel round (also reported here and here). As a company that's grown over the years by profitably building out our Techdirt Corporate Intelligence business, we've avoided many opportunities in the past to bring in outside investors. However, at the end of last year, we announced the Techdirt Insight Community to a tremendous response from both bloggers and companies (for those of you who haven't yet, bloggers can sign up here and companies can sign up here for more info). In some ways, the response was too overwhelming. While we've continued with the beta tests, and will be expanding the service to more bloggers and companies in the upcoming weeks, we realized that we could do much more with some help.

At that point we focused not on finding money, but on finding a group of individuals who had experience, knowledge, connections and know-how to help us to not just succeed with the new offering, but to help the entire community, from insightful bloggers to companies needing insight to succeed. We're thrilled that we were able to find just such a group of successful entrepreneurs with many successful companies under their collective belts, who believe in our vision, and have agreed to roll up their sleeves and help all of us make the Techdirt Insight Community a success. We're absolutely thrilled that Mark Fletcher, founder of ONEList (which became eGroups and then Yahoo Groups) and Bloglines, asked to lead the round and will be joining our board. Already he's proven to be a great resource in helping us move forward, and with his extensive entrepreneurial background and knowledge of the blogosphere, we know that we've only scratched the surface of the help he (and the others in the round) will be bringing to the table.

And, of course, as we move forward into 2007, the real thanks needs to go to the always fun, growing and challenging Techdirt community of readers, contributors, commenters, lurkers and linkers. You've helped us become what we are today. Keep an eye out for new features and services that we'll be adding for the community-at-large in the coming months as well. Thanks again, and please welcome Mark.

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  • identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 10 Jan 2007 @ 11:29am

    So, how does techdirt raise its revenue? Someone care to explain the business model?

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 10 Jan 2007 @ 12:53pm

    Good to see you growing. I do like the site. Lots of good info and no hassles to post.

    And a Welcome to Mark~!

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

  • identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 10 Jan 2007 @ 1:29pm

    the future of techdirt

    That was an interesting read.

    Firstly, a minor point: You should know that the .pdf case studies presented are not in standard .pdf format and will not render in standards compliant readers such as xpdf. Anyway...

    Techdirt initially attracted me to burn a bit of time here because some of the article headlines (particularly those of Mike and Karl) are insightful, provocative (in a good way) and at least back up the context of the intended debate with relevant links.

    In that regard it stands head and shoulders above popular technology news sites like Digg, whos summaries are barely literate and Slashdot whos headlines and summaries are misleading, badly researched and designed to provoke great volume of comments rather than quality responses.

    But I have somewhat misunderstood the nature of Techdirt. I assumed it was involved in a community of other entrepreneurs, independent devlopers and and small tech businesses with the aim of discussing opportinities and threats to the startup area. But VW and Verisign seem like heavyweights whos interests are disjoint with "ours"

    If Techdirt is to be inclusive and promote a truly symmetrical dialogue that benefits both its analysis customers and its contributers it needs investigative teeth, it needs meta analysis and high quality debate - in other words "where's the scoop for us here at the bottom?" It has to cut both ways.

    That means more than meanly worded PR statements from company advisors who are not actually experts in the field, it requires real engagement on the issues raised by those qualified to tackle them.

    Opinionated and anonymous commentators such as myself clearly have our own agendas, as do the big corporations. The asymmetry is that while I and others here are at liberty to engage in open and honest discussion, the other side of the debate is silent. Those to whom the discussion is targeted are gagged by constraints. There is every opportunity for monikers such as "AppleDeveloper" or "MSdude" to comment in relative safety and be judged on the merits of their arguments. That would be truly conducive to garnering "corporate intelligence" beneficial to all.

    Perhaps they are already here, if so they are putting up a very disappointing show so far.

    A one way conversation is not ultimately rewarding because shouting at the wall is no fun at all. I simply *dare* you to entice more prominent members of the corporate community here to debate and defend themselves on the issues we deal with. That would put Techdirt on the map. That would be a coup worth pulling off.

    And finally, welcome to the madhouse Mark.

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

  • identicon
    anonymous lurker, 10 Jan 2007 @ 4:59pm

    welcome

    welcome to techdirt, mark!

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

  • identicon
    Jeff Nolan, 10 Jan 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Misanthropic Humanist,
    Despite the presence of many big words and catchy phrases like "symmetrical dialogue", I have no frickin idea what you are trying to say.

    When I worked for SAP I brought TechDirt in to replace our PR-agency driven news clipping service. It's a fantastic service that is very unique in the market, despite the fact that it doesn't rely on gimmicky technology or buzzwords and acronyms. Techdirt is a group of hard working smart people who deliver a service to their paid subscribers that offers real and immediate value... that's where the revenue comes from.

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

    • identicon
      misanthropic humanist, 10 Jan 2007 @ 8:51pm

      Re:

      "Despite the presence of many big words and catchy phrases like "symmetrical dialogue", I have no frickin idea what you are trying to say.

      I find that a little hard to believe Jeff, since it's written in plain English.

      "It's a fantastic service that is very unique in the market, despite the fact that it doesn't rely on gimmicky technology or buzzwords and acronyms."

      No, not "despite", replace with "because of". Although I think in any discussion of technology it's impossible to avoid acronyms these days. For myself, I get most confused by financial and marketing buzzwords, but then I'm a technologist.

      "Techdirt is a group of hard working smart people who deliver a service to their paid subscribers that offers real and immediate value... that's where the revenue comes from."

      I'm sure that's correct. Did you somehow assume I was berating the site? If so do not be so quick to judge.

      Perhaps you would like to enlighten me by sharing in detail some of the wisdom you personally found most interesting, using appropriately small words of course.

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

  • identicon
    Dave McClure, 10 Jan 2007 @ 8:17pm

    congrats :)

    ... to both TechDirt and Mark! nice job. (now the real work begins :)

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

  • identicon
    Chris Maresca, 10 Jan 2007 @ 10:03pm

    Congratulations ...

    ... on your over night success. ;-)

    Chris.

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


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