21 months ago, my daughter Athena von Oech went to work as one of the very early employees at Ning, a full-suite social networking company based in Palo Alto. Athena is currently a Sr. Product Manager. Ning was founded by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreesen and Gina Bianchini. Ning is doing well (go to their site and check them out): they currently have 75,000 networks using their platform.
Last week was a good one for Ning: they received $44 million from Legg Mason (and others) and orchestrated by Allen & Company. That puts a value of nearly $250 million on the company. Shades of 1999 or proof positive that the investment community thinks social networking is here to stay? Time will tell. The folks over at TechCrunch certainly have their opinions (see here).
What do you think? Social networking: 1999-redux or a sound business investment, or depends on the company?
Which brings me to Marc Andreesen. Five weeks ago, he started blogging at the site http://blog.pmarca.com/. And he's thrilled about it! Check him out. He writes well-thought-out posts on a variety of subjects, but especially dealing with the business of startups and their financing. In that short period, his Technorati Authority rating has soared to 1,780. Not bad for a newbie.
Marc has a recent post called "Eleven Lessons Learned About Blogging, So Far." It's well worth reading. I only wish that Marc still allowed comments; his early posts did and it was fun seeing what his readers thought of his "takes." (Also, check out his top posts.) Interesting insights, wouldn't you agree?