Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blog of the Week: BNoopy

Check out Bnoopy, one of the freshest, most engaging entrepreneurial blogs currently in play. It comes from one of the co-founders of Excite, who is currently engaged in new business endeavors.

Bnoopy's strength is its storybook feel. For example:
When Vinod Khosla stepped up to the plate to fund Excite (born Architext), a funny thing happened. Suddenly, there was a lot of interest by a lot of people in the company. Nothing creates interest like interest.

One of those people was a guy named Phillipe Courtout. Phillipe ran a search technology company called Verity. What I remember most about Philippe was his French accent and this bad-ass Mercedes he drove.

Phillipe didn't want to fund Architext, he wanted to buy it. Price? $3 million bucks plus some nice cubes at Verity and perhaps an Aeron chair to boot.

So there it was. Phillipe's offer of cash now vs. Vinod's offer of investment and potential.

Those were some high-class problems.

In those days, the tried-and-true way to solve complicated issues was to take the two couches we had "liberated" from the trash bin at our local self-storage locker and drag them together, face to face, in the middle of the living room. Then, with three of us on one side, and three of us on another, we hashed things out.
Bnoopy also details the tribulations of starting a business from the ground up, sprinkilng narratives with humor and sarcasm.
While we were still in the garage (literally), we met with at least 15 different venture capital firms. The meetings we're all the same. We showed them our search technology, showed them "concept-based" search, and showed them targeted advertising. To a firm, the first question they asked was a very reasonable one: 'great stuff guys, but what's your business plan? how are you going to make money?' Of course, being 22 years old and fresh out of college we replied, 'we thought you could help us out with that.' Apparently, that's the wrong answer. Who knew?
Check Bnoopy out.

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