05:15 AM

"Free Press" For Startups During A Time Of Crisis In The Media

I'm looking forward to speaking tonight at a Lifograph event in San Francisco, to executives at startups on the topic of "free" communications. It's "free" in that startups get to do it themselves because they can't afford a PR firm on retainer.

The world wide web is a magnificent thing and the medium can carry your message to whoever, whenever wherever they are -- in theory. The reach of the Internet, however,  has little to do with your reach as a startup.

There's far fewer tech reporters and this year we've seen two of the most well regarded tech sites disappear: GigaOM and Re/Code. Even digital-first media companies who are riding the disruptive edge are being disrupted and are disappearing.

Reporting on the tech industry is important because it benefits the entire community by distributing knowledge and ideas. New ideas come because of exposure to other ideas; new jobs come from knowing who's growing; and new capital is raised when VCs read about each other and herd into competing deals.  

A robust, independent tech media sector is vital to innovation. But we are losing it and losing it here in Silicon Valley. What will that do to our ability to continue to innovate? What should startups do? I have some ideas...