Dan Gillmor, one of the leading lights of the blogosphere and a pioneer in citizen journalism, has closed down his startup company, Bayosphere. He writes a thoughtful letter to readers and supporters, which is well worth a read.
For what it's worth, I think Dan does a great service with this posting, because it's painfully honest. Starting a company is hard, startingThe mistake was to take the Silicon Valley path, because geek investors still think writing is easy. a profitable media company out of the chute is almost impossible, unless there's nudity involved.
He is right that his main mistake was to take the Silicon Valley path, because the technology and consultatively oriented investment approach isn't as patient, mainly because geeks think that writing isn't hard. After all, there's no design and development phase when a company has an excuse for making no money. You just write and, supposedly, as with a new gadget, revenue flows.
The problem is that the citizen journalism process hasn't found the interface to making money, though it certainly will someday. What Dan learned and writes about in his farewell posting is helping get us there. I can't wait to see what he does next at the Center for Citizen Media. In the meantime, learn from Dan.