I read with some interest the news that Michael Copeland was leaving Wired to join Andreesen Horowitz to lead that firm’s “content strategy.”
It makes perfect sense that Andreesen Horowitz would make this move. Not only has a16z flourished by departing from the traditional VC model (hiring tons of non-investing staff to add value for portfolio companies, eschewing the standard practice of bringing in experienced CEOs), it gained valuable credibility during its early days from the thought leadership that Marc and Ben generated on their respective blogs.
In a world in which entrepreneurs are better informed and better educated than ever before, pursuing thought leadership is one of the best ways for VCs to market themselves. Rather than relying on partners to squeeze in writing on the side, a16z is bringing in a top gun professional to help them create more and better content.
I think this is a canny move, which will probably also spark copycat moves by other top tier firms. Perhaps people who can write quickly and eloquently about the startup ecosystem are about to become a hot commodity.
Hmmmm. I wonder if I can think of anybody who would fit that description?
First Round upped the ante even further by launching First Round Review. Will this set off a content arms race? If so, all of us will be winners.