It is now official! Matt Marshall has removed the password of his new blog/site and has announced the launch of his own independent venture: VentureBeat. He will keep on covering the venture capital and startup world that he had covered with a lot of talent over the past few years - as a newly minted entrepreneur. I had lunch with Matt last Friday and he was both excited and nervous as he was putting the final touches of this launch. In his inaugural post on the site, Matt clarifies his motivation for going solo and some elements of his plans:
On Friday, I will serve my last day at the San Jose Mercury News and will no longer be blogging at SiliconBeat. VentureBeat has become my sole occupation and focus.
My Mercury News colleague Michael Bazeley and I launched SiliconBeat.com almost two years ago, in an effort to respond to the new reality of online media. The blog began as an experiment, taking up an hour or so of my day. Soon, it became much more: Baze and I found ourselves spending several hours daily on a blog that was supposed to be outside of our day jobs at the Merc. Baze, showing more sanity, pulled back from SiliconBeat and has taken a job managing the Mercury News’ Web site. For me, SiliconBeat continued as a labor of love, a way to filter the goings-on of this fascinating place we call Silicon Valley. Yet I was doing too much. So I approached the Mercury News, and told them I wanted to go out on my own.
To my delight, the Mercury News has become my first customer. It will syndicate the content I produce here. It has the right to run it in the paper, and to put it on their Web site. For me, it is a great deal. The Merc is the valley’s paper of record. It is my first read in the morning, and what I do here at VentureBeat is linked with the Merc’s mission. Like most of the people at the Merc, I care about the community in a broader sense. That is why I’m covering things from a geographical standpoint, as opposed to an industry niche.
As I said in my comment on the “old” SiliconBeat: Smile Matt, you are now an entrepreneur like the startup guys that you have been covering. Congratulations for the move!.
Update: in irony, poor Matt is facing one of the worst nightmares of the startup CEO whose service is launching and ends up being taken down by traffic or bugs. VentureBeat.com has been down since this morning, and shows no sign of immediate recovery. I was with David Hornik this afternoon and he could help but chuckle “That's why people host their blogs on TypePad” - which is also going down sometimes, but that's another story.