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Listening, respect and teamwork

Saturday, July 26, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named tramp.jpgScoble writes about Silicon Valley VC disease. I almost wrote a comment there saying that I've tried many times over many years to get VCs to invest in ideas I had for products, some of which turned out to be quite successful, but I thought better of it. Why single out the VCs, when the problem is much broader. Here's what it is, from my point of view. Permalink to this paragraph

There's not enough respect, listening, or teamwork. Permalink to this paragraph

After years of banging against the brick wall, one day, in a meeting with a VC, it came to me, clear as a bell. This person wasn't listening to my pitch. Every time I'd pause to take a breath, he'd start taking the story off in some other direction toward some vision he had. Permalink to this paragraph

The VCs are the superstars, not the entrepreneurs, even though the hype is the other way around. So far everything I've said coincides with what Scoble said. Here's where we diverge. Permalink to this paragraph

The entrepreneurs have the same damned disease. They don't want anything from the VC other than their money.  Permalink to this paragraph

The reporters have the disease too, so do the bloggers. Permalink to this paragraph

Silicon Valley is a really small place, getting smaller all the time, but it hasn't figured that out yet. To make products that sell, it has to reach out into the world for wisdom, and that requires a lot of listening, respect -- teamwork.  Permalink to this paragraph

Listening, respect and teamwork. Permalink to this paragraph

Back when Scoble worked at UserLand, when I wanted to ship a product, I made everyone at the company listen to Al Pacino's fantastic speech in Any Given Sunday. Permalink to this paragraph

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When you think that way, VCs, entrepreneurs, developers, everyone --> You'll start making really great products that mean something to real people. Until then, everyone will just be trying to be heard over the din of everyone else yelling how great they are. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Here's a podcast that explains why, if I were David Hornik, I'd invest in iPhone apps and wouldn't worry about other platforms right now. (Later, yes, but not now.) Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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