My two-year anniversary as a blogger . . . and two new sponsors!
It was two years ago today that I left the comfort of the Financial Times San Francisco bureau, the six-figure salary/benefits package, the six-weeks of vacation, and the generous sabbaticals every four years, to become a journalist blogger. I didn't realize at the time that I was the first mainstream media journalist to leave one of the world's top newspapers to try to become a professional journalist blogger.
I did not know what I was getting myself into, but I had a gut feeling that it was the right time. I had no idea of what the business model would be but I knew a few things. I knew that things would get better for me, but for newspapers the writing was on the wall (or at least online :-)
Two companies soon offered to sponsor my venture, Tibco and Infineon Technologies. I didn't ask for the money but I was glad to have it, even though I spent it very quickly and was forced to dig deep into my savings and cash out much of my IRA account.
I wanted to make sure that I had a good editorial product before I pitched for additional sponsors. Getting to that point has been incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding.
The money constraints meant that I couldn't keep my editorial teams. It also meant that my electric power was cut off for several days not too long ago. And in the last month, I had run out of money to pay my rent, and I had zero money for my family support payments. The support from my sponsors came in the nick of time, otherwise I'd now be blogging from a friend's couch and sneaking bandwidth from tolerant neighbors, and maybe even pocketing food from press events for my kids...
I might be poorer but I am incredibly richer for the experience of the last two years. I have met and connected with an amazing number of fascinating people and I feel part of a community. I'm incredibly happy to be involved in the emergence of this new media, and in the innovation that is happening within a rapidly transforming media sector.
And I'm very happy on this anniversary to announce that Tibco continues into its second year as sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher. And to also announce that Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, and Edelman the world's largest independent PR firm join as Leader Sponsors. And I will announce other Leader Sponsors as soon as I get the clearance.
The sponsorship support will go towards building an editorial team and expanding Silicon Valley Watcher into a top class news organisation focused on the business and culture of Silicon Valley. This region is the world's engine of innovation, it is where the future is being created every day.
I'd like to thank my current and soon-to-be-announced sponsors for their support and their partnership. Sponsorship means that SVW doesn't have to sell advertising campaigns and it can focus on producing high quality journalism, exclusive content, and have a stable monthly revenue base.
Our Leader Sponsors will be able to showcase their thought leadership in SVW through special columns, and also experiment with new approaches to publishing their expertise. In this way we will all help birth the new media, its new formats, and hopefully collect a series of best practices that many others can share.
And I thank my readers for their support. Wherever I go in Silicon Valley, from the trenches to the boardrooms, people tell me: I read you and I share you with my teams. I couldn't ask for anything better than that. Thank you.