Andrew Weissman is founder and COO at Betaworks, which invests in and operates Internet and digital media companies.
AdExchanger.com: There’s been a lot of good buzz about Betaworks recently. Why do you think that’s the case?
AW: Luck? Right time at the right place? Our companies speak for themselves; to the extent there is attention on betaworks I think it’s because the companies in our network are doing interesting things. Maybe it’s also because we do things a little differently and people are intrigued – we not only invest but we also build and acquire businesses.
What is Betaworks investment philosophy? Is there a Betaworks-type company?
There is a big gap between and idea and how that idea gets effectuated in the form of a real product. So, we like to play with applications, we believe “betas work” so we want to see a prototype of a product before we consider investing. Aside from that, if its real time and/or social, we are interested.
You wrote in an April post on your personal blog about the impact of the open Web on traditional content models: “Innovation didn’t die – instead it flourished into new, related and unrelated, spaces.” What are the new spaces being created today?
Real time streams of information and applications (things like Twitter, or gdgt, DailyBooth, Kickstarter, Tumblr).
Do you buy into the idea that advertising will – to some degree – become like the financial markets? Does content become like the financial markets?
Advertising and content are becoming more and more fragmented. I’m not sure it becomes more like the financial markets, but clearly a different way to deliver advertising into content online is needed.
Looking forward, what’s your view on M&A momentum in the digital media technology space?
More momentum in 2011 and 2012 because the pace of innovation is increasing steadily.
Do you think opportunities in the mobile advertising space are finally hitting their stride? Or, when does mobile “hit”?
What’s new is that there is no longer any separate thing called “mobile” – just as there is no old media or new media – it’s all Internet media now. Devices are now powerful enough that delivery can go anywhere.
If you’re an entrepreneur, what are your suggestions on the best way to pitch an investment firm such as Betaworks?
Show us a prototype!