GigaOm has a noteworthy piece about Reid Hoffman, chief executive of LinkedIn, and how he almost decided to sit out of investing in the crowded media space, but the decided to invest anyway — but only after adjusting his strategy.
Hoffman was in from the beginning of the fad, and has been known to speedily round up $250,000 seed rounds from among his friends for projects he likes. Obviously, with LinkedIn, he might be using his Web 2.0 contact tools to do this ;)
The investor in Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Friendster, Ironport Systems, Last.fm, Nanosolar, Ning, Six Apart, Socialtext, Tagged, Technorati, Tiny Pictures, Wikia, and more, said his requirements are as follows:
First, customer acquisition: data, or a really good plan, on how to get to the first million users, then a good growth rate thereafter. Second: good pricing power and margins, for economics. Third: an ability to protect the business once you’ve created it through innovation.