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Angelgate in a Nutshell
By Dave Winer on Friday, September 24, 2010 at 11:32 AM.

A picture named angelgateInANutshell.jpg permalink

I was talking about Angelgate earlier today with an entepeneur (the new spelling) and we were talking about what a difference it makes that we don't know who was there when Mike Arrington walked in on the meetup of angels apparently colluding in an illegal fashion. permalink

To see the difference, let's do some numbers. permalink

Suppose there are 150 active angel investors in Silicon Valley. permalink

Suppose there were 20 angels in the room on the day in question. permalink

That means 130 angels weren't there. permalink

Suppose you are one of the angels who wasn't. What do you do?  permalink

Tough choice. You could write a letter to all your friends and hope they leak it to TechCrunch as Ron Conway clearly did, and hope that TechCrunch runs it.  permalink

Or you could call up all your contacts and say you weren't there. But then they would wonder. I wonder why he felt the need to do that? They'll probably think I was there if I deny it. Better to say nothing. permalink

Now imagine that there are 1000 entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley out looking for money. Suppose you're one of them. You've had meetings with a bunch of angels and you're wondering if the guys you've been meeting with were in the collusion meeting that Mike reported on? No way to know, since TechCrunch didn't say who was there. permalink

A picture named book3.gifSo the net-effect of the story is to tarnish the reps of 150 angels, including 130 angels who did nothing wrong.  permalink

And to introduce doubt in the minds of the 1000 entrepreneurs.  permalink

If you're one of the 130, you're probably begging Mike to publish the list right now.  permalink

And if you're an entrepreneur you're probably begging Mike to let you know who they were, so you know not to do business with them. permalink

No matter what, guess who's at the center of all investment conversations in Silicon Valley right now? permalink

Heh. Pretty neat. permalink

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