May 31, 2007

Why I love Mahalo

Jason Calacanis has a new venture, Mahalo, and I love it.

It's not because I think the idea of the "first human-powered search engine" is a necessarily novel or a good one -- I have no idea if this is new or even interesting.

(that being said, one of the first human-powered pages they put up is a nice set of content and links about the Grateful Dead, so something right is going on over there).

It's that, if the press reports such as this by Paid Content are accurate, this venture launches out of the box with at least $16 million in funding with backing by some brand name partners and people, and there is at least one report that Calacanis says this venture has enough capital to run for four years without revenue.

In a venture world where the leading mantra of the past few years has been the ability (and desirability) to start a company with $250,000 (or less), where venture funding comes in smaller and milestone based chunks (get a product up and running, hit 100,000 users, see that it scales, see how viral it spreads, etc.), it's refreshing to see someone going after a big idea (finding relevant content) in a big way (lots of hype) with lots of resources at the outset (partners and funding).

After all, new venture creation is supposed to be about going big, which means you often fail in a big way, but you sometimes succeed in a massive way. Mahalo, and Calacanis and its partners, seem to implicitly understand this equation. So I love this new venture.

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized." Daniel Burnham.


Anonymous said...

Good quote. Have you read "The Devil in the White City"? Check it out.

-Bob Frapples (you know me by another name but never mind about that for now)