The New Rock Stars Are Kinda Indie

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Yelp.com founders, Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman
Business Week is running a feature on the new NoCal rock stars. You know, the young turks that lurk just south of San Francisco.

Digg founder, Kevin Rose and his fellow wealth punks have little in common with the sharp-talking MBAs in crisp khakis and blue button-downs who rushed the Valley as the NASDAQ climbed. In the late 1990s, entrepreneurs were the supplicants, and Sand Hill Road, dotted with venture-capital firms, was the mecca.
Now, it’s more like: Maybe we’ll let you throw a few bucks our way — if you get it. Otherwise, get lost. That’s possible because the cost of jump-starting a good idea has plummeted. At the same time, the sources of money have multiplied, swirling in from new VC shops, angel investors, and strategic partners galore.

The article mostly looks at Kevin Rose (who has 11,000 “friends” on MySpace) and his rapid rise from obscurity. But it also addresses old school business concerns, like competition. Business Week points out that AOL’s Jason Calacanis tried to replicate Digg at the reinvented Netscape. He also tried to lure Digg’s top 50 contributors with $1,000 a month to switch to its site, which led Rose to rant on his weekly podcast that Calcanis and AOL were trying to “squash Digg.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. After working for seven agencies in five states and freelancing for several more, I ventured out on my own in 2009. Today, as head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon, I'm focused on providing effective integrated marketing solutions to mid-market clients.