I’m excited to announce that we silently launched our new website last week. Like a startup we took a very “version 0.9” approach.
What text resonates? What do you think of the design elements? Navigation? When commenting please state if you have specific skills in visual design, copy or similar. But everybody is welcome and encouraged to offer your 2 cents whatever your background. I would embrace it. The wisdom of the crowds.
And we have thick skin – our goal is to get better.
Before outlining our aim I’d like to thank Jacqui “Cartoon” Jacobs who led the initiative for us. She was both patient (as dealing with me requires) and persistent (the same). If you’re in LA and looking for somebody to do project-based marketing jobs – Jacqui’s your lady (not to mention a fellow UCSD alum!).
Anything that works well was her implementation. I did anything that seems kludged – I assure you.
1. Look more modern than our previous website, which had a very 2000 feel to it
2. Demonstrate the deep relationships we have with the CEO’s with whom we work. We’re almost always the lead investor and usually the most active, too.
3. Become a resource for entrepreneurs to have access to the lawyers, accountants, real-estate professionals and other people with whom our entrepreneurs work. We liked this idea so much we decided to steal it from True Ventures. Just as we did they took it down from their website. Doh! I still loved it. Next I might steal this. Just as we launched a 2010 site they go all 2011 on us! Thanks, guys 😉
We didn’t want this section to be our recommendations but those of our portfolio. Right now it’s a bit light but I’m sure it will fill up.
4. I wanted to be whimsical and have a blog as cool as Spark Capital. Sadly, I couldn’t get there. They’re both cooler and listen to better music than we.
5. We wanted to emphasize the number of truly big wins that have been created by the partners at GRP in their 20+ years of investing. In the past 15 years our partners have backed nearly one company every year that was early stage and eventually exited for North of a billion dollars. That puts us in an elite group of VCs and we thought not enough people knew of this record.
6. We wanted to stay true to our roots, which were in retail and financial services, both industries in which we invest heavily, albeit almost exclusively where there is a technology core. Yet we wanted to be clear that we invest heavily in digital media, mobile & software companies. We invest in any regional tech center in the US; however, the earlier-stage the company the more likely it will be in CA or NY. We also invest in the UK as you’ll soon find out. For obvious reasons the bar is higher for us there.
7. We wanted to seem less serious as people. In our last website we sure looked grumpy. We’re not that grumpy of people. Hey, we live in LA. If you visit us I think you’ll enjoy the views from our offices. So we’re usually smiling. On reflection, checking out the team page at GRP, it looks to me like 4 or 5 of our team members could double as models. Sadly, I didn’t make the cut. Oh well, I bring other assets 😉
8. We wanted to emphasize what we’re looking for in potential investments. That’s here. But we didn’t want to have a “submit your business plan” form. VCs never really treat those seriously. So we gave some guidance on how to think about approaching us.
Now lay it on me. Good and bad. I appreciate your time.
[update: thank you to those that have already commented. I will read every comment so don’t worry about whether you leave something that other people have said. Some things I know:
- yes, the pictures are a bit washed out. I plan to fix but can’t until we are all in the same location and a photographer booked. Will update.
- crossing arms: ok, I guess that went down like a lead balloon! I thought it would look more casual. I guess that’s why I’m not a photographer!
- twitter logo – will be zapped quickly. It seems to make people puke.
- scrolling top banner – I’ll start by slowing it down. Maybe make it scrollable. I have some ideas.