We looked up Mike Hirshland because we’ve been updating our blogroll of venture capitalists who are blogging actively. See left-hand column on homepage; there are now 36 of them. We’ll introduce them briefly, when possible.
Mike is a venture capitalist at Polaris Ventures, who has set a steady pace lately on his blog, VCMike (there are some VCs who start, but then give up). He leads the East Coast firm’s investments into Internet/media companies. He flies to the West Coast on a regular basis, finding a lot of the action is out here — and those flights, ironically, are giving him time to blog.
Below we ask a couple of questions of Mike:
SiliconBeat: How on earth do you find time to blog? You’ve got four kids and a wife, two rabbits, and mention your favorite activity is rushing from one kids sporting event to the next….
Mike: For better or worse, I sleep little and travel lots. Early mornings, late evenings (like now), and on the plane is when I manage to blog.
SiliconBeat: How is the blogging going?
Mike: The key thing for me has been to accept that most of my posts are going to be more along the lines of “here is what I am up to this week” as opposed to really penetrating analysis. I’ve gotten some pretty favorable feedback from folks who seem to enjoy this approach, and it is much easier to blog more frequently when the bar is lower.
SiliconBeat: You write on your blog that a couple important new platform companies will emerge from the Web 2.0 “entrepreneurial soup,” and that you spent most of last year trying to find contenders. Can you talk about a couple of the investments?
Mike: Most of my recent investments are probably considered more “digital media” than “web 2.0,” due in large part to the fact that I wasn’t convinced that many of the early Web 2.0 startups could be viable companies.That said, a recent Web 2.0 investment I’ve made is Automattic, which is best known for the popular WordPress software, but also has a kick-_ss anti-comment spam service known as Akismet which I think you’ll be hearing lots about. Our bet is that WordPress has a real shot to be the leading provider of blog publishing software and other related technologies, and that this can be a large and meaningful business.
SiliconBeat: You also say we are witnessing wave of innovation at least as significant and important as Internet 1.0. How much of Internet 2.0 revolution is happening out here in Silicon Valley again, and is it important for an investor to be here?
Mike: Most Internet businesses are at the end of the day part tech and part media. The ideal investor should have a strong network not just in Silicon Valley but also in the media and advertising industries and in many cases the entertainment business as well. So it is important to have a “presence” in the Valley, in LA, and in NYC. In many cases I’ve found it works out quite nicely for a startup to have one west coast and one east coast investor…. I think the venture capital business, particularly in the Internet sector, is becoming much less of a local, and more of a national (if not international), business.