John Battelle and I have been competitors for over a decade in one way or another. First it was Silicon Alley Reporter and Industry Standard, then HackADay and Make (to a lesser extent), and now FM Publishing vs. Weblogs, Inc. In fact, a couple of bloggers have come to me saying that John describes FM Publishing as a “better Weblogs, Inc. Network,” which is obviously a huge compliment. When someone of John’s ability comes into the marketplace two years after you started something and says he’s going to do it better you basically know you’ve done something right–and that maybe you need to do somethings differently! (I know when we came into the marketplace 18 months after Nick Denton started Gawker he certainly stepped up his game–competition is good for business and for your soul!).
Anyway, in the NYT John basically explains how this isn’t a bubble for all the right reasons, the most important of which is that people are not burning money like idiots this time around. Look at the Web 2.0 conference this year. All the startup Web 2.0 companies got together and did an open bar at a tiny dive bar–and few of them sponsored the event! In the old days everyone would have done competing $50k parties and $35k sponsorships of the event. I could start a company for $50k!
So, major thumbs up to JBAT for the story and making sure the folks out there understand what we’re doing here. No one is building to flip or go public any more. People are building ver real businesses.
[ Side note: Interestingly the story, online at least, doesn’t mention that the New York Times is an investor in FM… they’re an investor right? ]