Just returned from an interesting talk Mark Evans of B5 Media gave at the Toronto Board of Trade this morning. He compared startup environment of the last boom to the current with a few pointed and entertaining examples, though nothing you probably didn’t know already:
- how wasteful of capital the last boom in retrospect overspending on perks, offices and superbowl ads
- how raising 2M dollars really isn’t as much cash as you might think
- how nonetheless the web2.0 boom is so much more about frugality (everything is cheaper to build, and even with funding B5 doesn’t need status-symbol offices they do just fine out of Mark’s garage and Jeremy’s basement)
- And (what I find interesting) how basic office/enterprise2.0 tools gmail, writely, freshbooks etc has let build out out the world’s 3rd largest blog network with hundreds of “staff” with almost no physical infrastructure.
Ultimately though it was just inspiring to see the canadian venture community (Rick Segal, J L Albright, Brightspark ) having the courage to get behind a deal with B5. Sure, B5 is still at the early stages of capitalizes on this new disruptive force in the media world, but they’re a smart bet if you ask me.
As Mark was saying, prior to joining B5 he was writing both for his blog and for the National Post. He felt like he was holding one foot still on the platform and the other on the train that was leaving the station. And for him, it was a no-brainer which way to jump.