The Big Money Is In The Platform, Not The Content

Do venture capitalists use real money or Monopoly money when they throw cash at a startup? For the startup’s sake, I hope it’s real money, but it sure looks like Monopoly money from here.

According to The Wall Street Journal, micro-blogging platform, Tumblr is valued at $800 million by the money men who have put $85 million on the line.

Naturally, they’re interested in seeing a massive return on their investments–that’s how these sky high valuations get thrown around.

Tumblr’s investors said they believe the company’s active and growing user base gives it tremendous potential to make money. Like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr is trying to develop new forms of advertising that work organically within its service rather than running traditional banner ads.

I wish I knew what “advertising that works organically” means.

One thing is for sure, Silicon Valley VCs can say anything they want and a whole bunch of people, some who might even know better, are willing to run with it.



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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.