VCs Poo Poo Mashups

From New York Times:

Many venture capital firms are loath to finance mash-ups, in part because they are not readily “defensible,” meaning they might be replicated by others.
“The current things people are doing with Google Maps are cute but they don’t add value,” said Peter Rip, managing director of Leapfrog Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif.
Web mash-ups, which have proliferated in recent months, can be made up of two or more sets of data. They are often based on Google Maps or Google Earth, then overlaid, or tagged, with information on the location of just about anything.

I don’t know the first thing about venture capital, but I do know enough about business to refute Mr. Rip’s commentary. If I visit a mashup like Platial to find a list of taco stands in San Diego, or a place to refuel my biodiesel car, that is indeed valuable in the marketplace sense.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. 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. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Sure, some mashups don’t provide value, but many of the mashups I’ve seen directly fill a need that Google maps cannot provide.
    Here are a few examples… that CERTAINLY add value, and are easily defensible:
    1.) Wayfaring:
    2.) Frappr:
    Shame on you Peter. Oh well, it will be your loss. Just means some other smart venture firm is going to beat you to the punch.