Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Day in the Life

Picture 2.pngThis morning I met for coffee with Tim Connor of Sequel Venture Partners. Tim is one of those people I have known for a long time and always liked, but we've never had the opportunity to work together on a business deal. Unfortunately, that's not likely to change in the near future given where Sequel sits in its cycle. That said, I very much respect Tim's opinion, and as I described iggli's business model, he had some quite helpful insights for me. I think he understands what we're up to. As he said to me, if you guys can make this work, this is clearly a huge opportunity.

He's right. It is a huge opportunity. An opportunity fraught, at this point, with both financing and execution risks.

What do we have to do to mitigate these risks? Well, first of all, we need to make certain our deals with content owners have terms that are workable for prospective investors. We're close. But we're not there yet.

Second, we have budding relationships with companies that will supply key elements of our model, including the music delivery mechanism and the advertising / monetization elements. We need to continue to develop and solidify those relationships.

We also have a growing blogging community, with bloggers in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, Boulder/Denver. These bloggers are amazing. They write regularly about music, social networks, technology and key issues facing the 18-24 year old demographic, and they do in ways that are often moving and nearly always entertaining. A couple of examples chosen at random from the list of recent posts:

Stripper Name Woes (In which blogger Rhythm and Kaos grouses about Facebook's stripper name application when she receives the, um, less than sexy handle "Trixie Slidehips.")

Strange Days (From blogger Etta Strange, who has a wonderful way of connecting today's music with the classics of yesteryear, in this case, the Stylistics "People Make the World Go Round," a marvelous pop standard written by the famous dynamic duo of black pop songwriting, Thom Bell and Linda Creed.) Experiment, Part 2: Predators, Ahoy! (From The Royal Scam, who decided some time ago to gender bend his digital persona on, producing some pretty creepy responses.)

Stop drop and roll. (Where Oatmeal concludes that Angela in "My So Called Life" is really the prototypical blogger.)

We need to extend the reach of our blogs, grow our audience among 18-24 year olds in particular, and refine the way we deliver content in terms of both form and substance. I expect, for example, to be able to deliver iggli blogs do mobile devices, but more than that, I expect that iggli will be able to encourage microblogging about music, social networks, technology, and (you guessed it) the issues of the day. I think Oatmeal has the right idea when she compares blogging to "My So Called Life." At iggli, we're working on ways to encourage people to connect and express themselves day in and day out. Even minute by minute. (Which reminds me of a song.)

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