Fred Wilson on Intellectual Property

Fred Wilson blogs his opinion on whether VCs should blog. The answer is somewhat self-evident, but his post is interesting reading, as always.

He quotes one Boston-area VC saying, essentially, that he’s not giving away his hard-earned knowledge to anyone other than portfolio companies and potential portfolio companies. Fred thinks that intellectual property should be shared, out in the open.

I agree. I think there are two types of people: those who need to hoard the knowledge they have because they aren’t getting new knowledge fast enough and those who can give away what they have because they are learning or generating new knowledge so quickly. Fred is clearly one of the latter. I think we should all aspire to be one of the latter.

As an aside, when I was a VC I found that what I learned had a very short halflife. I tried to give it away as quickly as possible because in a few weeks or months, it would become worthless. As I said here, yesterday’s idea is yesterday’s idea. The best way for a VC to keep the startup machinery healthy (and thus keep themselves in companies to fund) is to let entrepreneurs know what the current thinking is so they can come up with something entirely new. I doubt Fred shares intellectual property because he’s an altruist: I think he wants to help people think of new ideas so that he continues to have plenty of investment opportunities. That’s good business.