How is The New York Times Really Doing?

Wired magazine recently published, Keeping Up with the Times, a story about the New York Times and its slow & painful transition to a digital first publication. “It’s to transform the Times’ digital subscriptions into the main engine of a billion-dollar business, one that could pay to put reporters on the ground in 174 countries even if (OK, when) the printing presses stop forever,” Gabriel Snyder (one of my favorite writers, by the way) wrote in his in-depth feature, which is worth reading.

After reading the piece, I thought let’s see how the Times is really doing — by the numbers. With help of Nima Wedlake, I came up with data to chart the progress made by the company, to see how far it really is from its transformation into a billion-dollars-in-digital-business. Have a look:

Do camera reviews even matter?

As someone who suffers from G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) when it comes to cameras, I spend a lot of time reading camera reviews. And when I am done reading, I watch YouTube videos. And after I am done with each one of them, I realize I am still no closer to making a smart buying decision about a camera because none of the reviews say anything meaningful.

Love of the journey 

David Churbuck, my editor at pulled me aside and said — in addition to the big companies, I want you to write about startups: one’s you really like. That was over twenty years ago and thus began my love affair with founders, ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. I was a reluctant start to a life long romance — one which has culminated with me on the other side of the table — as a venture investor. But I can’t help myself always being an investor second, and champion of the startups first. No matter what I do, I can’t think of startups as “deals.” 

Instead, startups are opportunities. Opportunities to reshape the world, opportunities to reimagine the future and opportunities to ride along with a founder and their singular obsessions. My partner Jon Callaghan, forced me to think about these opportunities in even starker terms — chase those that you love, not like. And go and find founders who are singularly obsessed and in love with their ideas. Why? Because when the going is tough, love is what gets you through. 

When I started to think about entrepreneurship from the lens of love, it suddenly became easier for me to understand why I was fond of certain founders and their companies. Tim Westergren (of Pandora), Aaron Levie (of Box), Denis Crowley (Foursquare), Jack Dorsey (of Twitter and Square) are some of the contemporary founders who started off & continue to do what they do, not to move the dials on life’s materialistic dashboards (a little confusing?), but for what they really love. Silicon Valley’s history has many founders who might not be remembered today, but were those who did it for love. 

As I sit here today, Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but think about founders and their love! 

February 14, 2017, San Francisco 

All you need is love…

There is too much negativity and hatred in the world. So let’s celebrate today, as an occasion to celebrate what is becoming such a rare commodity — love. And hopefully remember that all you need is love to get along, grow better as people and evolve as a species. Happy Valentine’s Day. [Photo collage made with Unsplash & the Over App.]