30 thoughts on “Repeat After Me: Investors Are Never the Story”

  1. Hi Om,

    I’ve been a fan of gigaom for quite some time, and I just wanted to say that this article really hit home with me. When it’s time to actually butter the bread, “It’s the product, stupid!”

      1. Here in India,it all about funding and founders and never about technology.People talk big about big companies,funding and big guys.Even the success of the product gets the last attention in blogs and even the main stream media.How ever pls note(this point is important)if an american blogger talks good about an Indian product,then it get all the attetion that it deserves from Indian bloggers and media.

  2. Om, you make some interesting points. It’s more work to dig deeper to find the story and take a bit of a risk to give a start-up “ink,” and as you say, the investors do lend cache and credibility, but in the end, the newly launched product either has a story to tell or it doesn’t.

  3. Hi Om,

    That JB quote was “The Main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” and it was said many times.

    PS – good luck to Tim and the RockMelt team.

  4. Good perspective Om.

    When you say “It is a tough life, where sacrifices and relentlessness are par for the course, no matter how big or how successful a startup becomes.” – I would think “or doesn’t?”

  5. I had only read the GigaOm post about RockMelt and must of just read past the Andreessen-Horowitz part therefore had no idea that it was funded by them. It was interesting how the product lost a lot of focus because of that one investor. Maybe something to think about even when looking for investors and how it factors into expectations of your company? Great post.

  6. Om,
    Great post. but there is a whole school of VCs who would disagree with you. Kleiner, Accel, DFJ, KhoslaVentures…

  7. John Chen at one time had a better product than Larry Ellison. Xerox PARC at one time had a better product than Apple. Notable start-ups experience notable product iterations and inflection points. The author is a journalist not a founder. Start-ups are the founders.

  8. There are times when I read posts written by you years ago, and wonder how does he sustain such a high level of writing.

    Kudos to you Om- for years of intelligent tech reporting, keeping the gossip mags in their place, and help filter the hype for your readers.

  9. It could be that when the technology is not all that “big”, better promotions could be done using “big” investor names. And when all the noise has died down, it is the technology that ultimately sells! Thanks for reminding us all to bring back the focus to where it should belong.

  10. And, most of all, where’s the business? I’m using RockMelt since a couple of days and I find it useful… a bit. Nice to have, ok, so what?

    I’ve read some articles about it but didn’t get a line about the business idea. Advertisement? Is it google-backed to big-brotherly catcha our user data? 😉 Or thinking as a client-side Twitter app? (How many of those will survive, though?)

    I mean: I was in Mountain View back in the ’90s, exactly at the press conference where Netscape announced that Navigator was going free. We did a q&a with Marc Andreessen about that. From that moment I always kept thinking that browser’s business model was To Conquer The World

    Can RockMelt do that?

  11. I completely agree, I had seen/heard of RockMelt when they first released like 2 years back. I find it weird that people are noticing it now because of the “investors”.

    I cant comment on the venture, but the publicity is just stupid

  12. I think people were pointing out Rockmelt’s investors at launch because of the disproportionate amount of attention it received compared to something like Flock, which is an almost identical product. The only difference in the equation many of us can see is the investors. Therefore, many of us concluded it was the investors that made the difference. That’s how I read the response, anyway.

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