Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Venture Capital Category

Conversation with Adafruit »

I recently visited and had a conversation with Limor "Lady Ada" Fried and Phil Torrone of Adafruit. I first met them about ten years ago at SxSW. Limor is an MIT grad that we're super-proud of and Phil is an amazing pioneer in communications, hacking and many other things. Phil and Limor are two of my most favorite people and I aways get giddy just getting a chance to hang out with them. We discussed making, electronics, business, manufacturing, hacking, live video and more. They've been doing live video daily for the last 10 years or so and are...

We invested in Twitter and are bringing them to Japan »

I Twittered this but forgot to blog it. :-P From the Twitter Blog:Despite the fact that Twitter is in English, we continue to see exciting growth from all over the world. Japan, in particular shows a very strong and growing demand for Twitter services. Movatwitter and Twitterpod are great examples. To support continued growth in Japan, Twitter has formed a partnership with Digital Garage to create the official Twitter Japan service. As part of this arrangement, Digital Garage has made an investment in Twitter, Inc and will commit engineering and other development resources to help us bring Twitter to Japan....

Tallinn »

Mart explaining architecture I just returned from a trip to Tallinn where I completed the paperwork to invest in GuardTime, an electronic archive and log authentication system using cryptographic time stamps. The idea was developed by the founder of the company, Märt Saarepera and his collegues in Estonia when Mart was in Japan. Mart started out as an academic and a researcher, but became an entrepreneur in residence at my company Neoteny back when we were still incubating businesses. At the time, our team thought that the business was too early and passed on the investment and Mart set...

Dopplr »

Dopplr announced the closing of their seed round which I participated in. Dopplr is social network for travelers. While it is possible to sync your travel schedules with people using other applications, no application that I know of has focused on and delivered the answer to the "when are we in the same city next?" question so well. The upside of Dopplr is that it does this VERY well and is perfect for people like me who usually meet my friends while traveling. The downside is that it's not that useful for people who don't travel or don't have any...

China trip »

View from Shanghai JW Marriott Just returned from a trip to China with Reid, Michelle, Ellen and Kazuya organized by Leonard Liu and his team. We met with VCs, entrepreneurs and a few of my old friends. I was in Shanghai a few years ago just as the US VCs were starting to set up offices in Shanghai. Things have clearly moved forward a notch. The first wave of entrepreneurs have exited their successful ventures and are now on their second or third venture. The VCs seem to have a community. More and more US educated Chinese seem to...

Media Companies driving Web 2.0 "boom"? »

Reflecting on All Things Digital, I got the feeling that I've missed thinking deeply about something that is probably obvious to a lot of people. Big media companies are leading the charge (fueling the bubble?) into Web 2.0 probably even more than VCs and startups. I definitely felt a kind of bubble-like feeling at the last O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo, but after D I realized that it wasn't really a bubble so much as a charge after hearing the heads of companies like CBS, News Corp., Time, Viacom, etc. talk about how they were basically just getting started. It seemed...

Last.fm and CBS »

Congrats and "Good job!" to CBS and the Last.fm team! CBS and Last.fm announced that CBS will be acquiring Last.fm for $280 million. I think it's a good fit and the team seems happy with the deal. Last.fm have blogged about it and CBS has an announcement. I was an angel investor and a series A investor in Last.fm. UPDATE: BBC has a good article - Social music site Last.fm has been bought by US media giant CBS Corporation for $280m (£140m), the largest-ever UK Web 2.0 acquisition....

CC Business Mixter »

CC WeblogCC Business Mixer: Calling for Creative Commons Entrepreneurs Creative Commons and CC board member John Buckman will be hosting a CC Business Mixer on Thursday, Jan. 18th from 6pm-8pm at the Creative Commons offices in San Francisco. If you have an idea for a Creative Commons related business, this is your chance to present your idea to other like minded entrepreneurs and network with VCs. Have an idea you would like to present? Email John Buckman at johnbuckman@creativecommons.org. Details: Creative Commons Business Mixer for CC Entrepreneurs 6pm-8pm, Thursday January 18th Creative Commons 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor San...

Is YouTube "Web 2.0"? »

Lawrence Lessig has a thoughtful post about something that I've been mentioning in recent talks I've given, but haven't blogged much about. I'm often asked to speak about "Web 2.0". I personally think that people are trying to build Bubble 2.0 on top of Web 2.0. Instead of becoming a platform for the future of the Web, it's possible that Web 2.0 is becoming the platform for the short-term future of greedy people. However, I do think that it is important to understand that the recent success and surge in innovation on the Web is due to a semi-new...

Reid Hoffman #22 on Business 2.0 list of most important people »

A belated "gratz" to my friend and co-investor/partner in most of my angel investments, Reid Hoffman for become a Rank 22 important person. Business 2.0 The 50 people who matter now Rank: 22 Reid Hoffman Angel investor and CEO, LinkedIn Why He Matters: Want to launch a Web 2.0 startup? Be prepared to kiss Hoffman's ring. In his day job, Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn, the online haven for business networkers. But on the side, he's also an angel investor with a knack for spotting young companies with big potential. Thus far, he's supplied insight and investment money to...

Google S-1 »

Google's S-1 is online. (Warning. Big file.) via CNET...

Sean Parker kicked out of Plaxo »

Although I had some problems with the Plaxo model, I hate hearing stories like this. Sean Parker, the founder and visionary behind Plaxo was kicked out rather rudely by the VCs. I don't know the details, but it sounds bad.San Jose MercuryThe company sent out an anonymous, terse statement that Parker is ``no longer with Plaxo,'' but called him a ``visionary, creative entrepreneur'' and ended with: ``We thank him for his hard work and wish him well.'' In reality, though, a source said Parker has been locked out, and everyone at the company has been instructed not to talk with...

PC Magazine Editors' Awards »

I feel like a proud dad. Six Apart's Movable Type got 5 stars, TypePad got 4 stars and an Editors' Choice and Socialtext Workspace got an 4 stars and an Editors' Choice in the recent PC Magazine's Editors' Choice Awards.Good work folks!

Following crowds »

Spent part of the day at Disney Sea with Mizuka for her birthday. There were lots of lines and lots of crowds. When we encountered crowds I realized that my behavior was a bit different than most of the people, but obviously not unique. I would avoid crowds and try to go in the opposite direction of crowds. If I noticed I was near the front of a crowd or ahead of a crowd, I would accelerate and try to stay ahead. Otherwise I would change course or go the other direction. If there were lines, I would choose the shortest one.I saw some people doing exactly the opposite. Even though there were ticket windows open, they would go to where people were lined up. If there was a crowd, it often attracted more people. Even if people were ahead of the pack, they walked slowly and were engulfed by the crowd.I think investing and business development is a bit like a theme park where new rides are opening and various things changing, with the crowds rushing from one area to another. I think you should focus on trying to find cool things to do in less crowded spaces. Don't be worried because there's no one there yet. You should try to stay ahead of the crowd if the crowd is headed in the same direction. If you see the crowd coming your way, get your business done quickly.The social software space is starting to feel a bit crowded. ;-) I think we're still near the head of the crowd, but pretty soon it's going to feel like a crowded Disneyland ride I think... This doesn't mean I'm going to start running in the opposite direction, but there are lots of things we need to do before the follow-the-pack'ers all arrive.

Google considers online IPO auction »

The Financial TimesGoogle considers online IPO auctionBy Richard Waters in San Francisco Google is considering holding a massive online auction of shares early next year in an initial public offering that investment bankers predict could value the internet search-engine company at more than $15bn.Holy cow. Does anyone have any more information on this?I wonder if it's going to be a Dutch Auction IPO?

Invested in Socialtext »

Ross just announced an angel round raise for Socialtext which I participated in. Ross and his crew are working on wikis in the workplace and other social software solutions and represent the cutting edge on a variety fronts.

No-Shop Agreements »

A few people have questioned my assertion that no-shop agreements make sense. I'd like to clarify my position. I do agree that in some cases, they don't make sense, but here's where they make sense.

Our investment process »

Wrote a not-so-organized entry about our investment process...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
Freesouls by Joi Ito

Category Archives

Monthly Archives