I love the Venture Capital model that Draper Fisher Jurvetson has put in place for building a very distributed partnership that can act locally while being completely global. As a result, they get some serious cross-pollination effects that give their firm a competitive advantage.
This is keiretsu for the new millenium.
VC firms that cannot figure out how to effectively embrace the global aspects of the technology markets will not be able to compete.
Matt McCall of DFJ Portage Venture Parnters wrote a great article on this topic:
We have firms using Russian & Estonian programmers, selling product to Asia and competing with European competitors. New technology models in mobile are popping up in Asia & Europe years before the US and next generation silicon is emerging from China before our Valley brethren can get out of the starting blocks. Interestingly enough, both of the CEO’s above had heard of FeedBurner, located in Chicago, and had several RSS efforts they wanted to potentially work with them on.
Seeing all of these firms interacting and talking is a big rush for me. It reminds me that our world is much more than simply building the best Midwest technology firms but rather about building the best global technology firms. The spoils accrue to the #1 or #2 firms and the rest get table scraps. Without this global perspective, it becomes very difficult to understand this global market.
Hats off to DFJ for thinking out of the box / out of the US, and for putting a VC firm structure in place that supports the "think globally, invest locally" philosophy.