While I applaud the journalists for getting this story, I have to ask what in the h*ll the VC’s were thinking? They are going to get hammered with every hair brained scheme ever conceived.
Their motivations aside, I found this one of the more interesting articles from CNN in a while. After all who doesn’t want to know where the money is. I found the Accel partners idea particularly interesting as it has a direct tie in with the social production of manufactured products. One thing we have been contemplating is how makers can earn money from their creations. The answer of course is a social marketplace. I hope someone does it. It would make a great partnership.
The 20 smartest companies to start now – September 1, 2006
The Social Marketplace
The Investor: Jim Breyer, partner, Accel Partners
What he’s backed: Brightcove, Facebook, Prosper
What he wants now: Social-networking sites may be sprouting like weeds, but none yet operates as a bona fide marketplace, with members buying and selling their own creations as much as they blog, link, and post. Breyer, who sits on Wal-Mart’s board, is interested in backing an international network for indie artists, musicians, filmmakers, authors, designers, and other creative types from dozens of countries.
Ideally, the site would have the download and payment features to create what he calls a “micromarket” for members’ wares. “There might be a Chinese student filmmaker with a five-minute film who wants to reach a niche of U.S. users,” Breyer says. “He could find people willing to buy his films, and maybe a producer willing to bankroll more.” Transaction fees would supplement ad revenue.
Breyer wants a five- to 10-person team to build a prototype using a peer-to-peer structure that would reduce bandwidth costs, and to identify core groups of users that would get traffic moving to the site.
What he’ll invest: $10 million
Send your pitch to: firstname.lastname@example.org. — S.H.