Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The Road to Sun is Paved with Good Intentions...An Accel VC Party Report...A Glam Crowd...The World's Top Media Mogul Comes to Town

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 17, 2007

I was running late to Sun's Java update briefing for the media at the W Hotel for 5.30pm. By the time I found parking I'm really late and that's when Tom Abate, my buddy and business reporter at the SF Chronicle calls me.

I'm just a block away I tell him. Good, he says, I'll meet you outside my office. I meet him but tell him we have to walk across Yerba Buena Gardens and pop into the Sun event, they've already called me to ask where I am...

Fine, he says, but then we get into a long discussion about the media business and it gets later and later. Finally, we are at the W and I'm bounding up the stairs to fulfill my Sun commitment. I see a table with name tags and I recognize some of the people milling around and so I walk in, Tom follows me.

Jeff Clavier's Mom

jeffclavier.jpgI'm running into a lot of familiar faces. First up is Jeff Clavier, a current rising star Silicon Valley investor. I recently profiled Mr Clavier as one of the most successful angel investors around ( Silicon Valley's Rising Star VC: Jeff Clavier .) He has sold 5 companies out of 20 investments in less than 4 years, some with $50m tags. Who else has recently matched that performance I asked in my post?

"You caused me a lot of embarrassment with that article," he said. "But my mom loved it, my VC buddies didn't."

Too bad for your buddies, I said, maybe one day they will make it into SVW. Jeff, did I say anything that wasn't true?

He slowly shook his head (sadly and with great humility). Let's follow up with a proper interview I said. He nodded. (Coming up on SVW...)

John Marcom and Bloomberg

Then I ran into John Marcom, who used to be my boss at the Financial Times. To be accurate, he was everyone's boss, he ran the Financial Times business group in the US. I was always really impressed with John Marcom I felt he really understand the complex cutlure of the Financial Times, and the changes in media markets.

When he left the FT to join Yahoo in a senior marketing position it was a blow to me because there seemed to be no one else that had a measure on what was going on in the media industry. And the FT needed people such as John. So it was a rare pleasure to trade views on the media business. He's currently consulting with Bloomberg on strategic projects.

The Glam Crowd

There were a lot of people from Glam.com at the party. And I ran into Samir Arora, chairman, founder and CEO of Glam.com, a truly dynamic media business that hasn't yet gotten the full attention it deserves.

I met with Mr Arora about a year ago, at the Lucky Penny Diner in San Francisco, one of my favorite meeting places. It's a true retro diner, this is not a fake diner chain.

Mr Arora is always a dapper dresser, and I spotted him right away as I walked into Lucky Penny, sitting in the corner at a booth, in an immaculately tailored dark pinstripe suit and pink shirt.

It was a great interview and I kept waiting to write it, I kept saving it for just the right slot slot when I could make a big spalsh with it, not wanting to waste such a great interview on a heavy news day. But I never wrote it, which is my loss. I apologized to Mr Arora and asked for a second chance. He said sure, but it has to be at Lucky Penny... :-)

This is not Sun...

After a couple of hours I realized that this was not the Sun event that I had been aiming for at the W Hotel. This was the VC firm Accel's party. Tom Abate said he knew all along, but didn't want to say anything because the company was good.

Kahunas don't get bigger than this...

I snuck out of the party and went home so I could write this post and then go back out to the SF Museum of Modern Art for a party celebrating the opening of the San Francisco office for MySpace. The event was due to start at 9.30pm, which is very unusual. Office openings generally don't happen at the SF MOMA, and most events stop at 9.30pm.

I had walked past SF MOMA earlier in the evening, workers were taping lush carpet to the sidewalk and wrapping the building in cloth. Then I hear Rupert Murdoch is in town. Clearly this is no normal office opening.

I'd love to interview Rupert Murdoch, he is the savviest media tycoon around. No one else can match his investment instincts when it comes to media. No one.

And he will not ruin the Wall Street Journal, the editorial pages cannot get anymore conservative. And anyway, he can scale that business across his worldwide channels. If I were the FT I'd be very worried.

I have to go now, I''l be back. Hopefully with a Rupert Murdoch interview.

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