Fred Wilson posted a short and interesting video interview he gave some years ago in which he discusses the role of his blog in his life professional life. This caused me to think about why I started, and continue to host this blog now that a number of years have passed.
Unlike Fred, I can’t say that I have a single cogent reason for it. My reasons range from marketing thinks I should to I learn a lot from writing to I think the ecosystem may benefit from the perspective of someone, who is neither a VC nor an entrepreneur, who works closely with many start-up companies,, to I enjoy the writing.
With respect to the marketing motive, one thing I have learned is that marketing alone is not a valid reason to blog. I probably spend between 2 and 4 hours per week on this blog (that translates to 150 hours per year (round numbers)). I am pretty sure that I have not directly acquired a single client because of this blog. Compare this performance to the book I wrote some years ago or an article I wrote on SEC issues related to sales of stock by insiders in public companies, each of which produced many very good clients. But, I admit, I would not have started if marketing (and one of my partners) had not convinced me to give it a try.
With respect to learning, a lot of those hours I spend are used reading what other bloggers have to say, in effect, keeping up with the topics of the day. I would be doing much this even if I weren’t writing, but when I read blogs now I consider them in terms of why is this person saying whatever they are saying and what would I say about it. Strangely enough, this can make a difference in the daily practice of law. (For example, I have formed opinions about the merits (or not) of VC seed notes and my clients have benefitted from these views.)
With respect to the ecosystem, blogging in this space is dominated by VCs (Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, etc.) and certain entrepreneurial types (Dharmesh Shah, Nivi and Naval, etc.). Each of these groups has a vested point of view in, say the VC seed note debate, and almost all other topics. I am not invested (and I use that word advisedly) in this debate (or most of the others) and there are times when a less committed point of view is useful.
Finally, as with everything in life, there is no excuse for not having fun. You can think of tons of reasons to blog. Leveraging your time (as Fred Wilson does), selling (as marketing would like to do), learning, etc. but in the end, it has to be fun.