The Reading Room


VentureBeat is now the place to find out where innovation meets money. Since starting in 2006 it has of course been serving up the usual stories about Apple upgrades or Nintendo’s latest interactive game but it has a real sense of “breaking news” with fantastic links to twitter feeds, features and youtube links. But most importantly it offers up a perfect news balance mixing breakthrough gadgets, tech trends and important deals in a very “easy on the eye” layout. It may have a lower readership than the technology pages of the Guardian or the New York Times but it is much more targeted. If you’re a start up looking for an angel investor then VentureBeat must be number one on your press release list. The New York Times, all too aware of VB’s power, calls it one of the “best blogs on the web” and runs their articles on its website. And just like any good blog site their news stories are from people that live and breathe their specialist subject. VB bloggers sit through every technology conference from California to New Delhi.

But in the end Venture Beat’s success really boils down to good journalism. In VB’s case their Founder and Editor in Chief Matt Marshall has incredible journalistic credentials and so it is no surprise the website became so slick so quickly, ensuring that ex google big wig Aydin Senkut as well as others provided $300,000 of seed funding.
Marshall covered the venture capital beat for the San Jose Mercury News from 2001 to 2006. He significantly expanded the newspaper’s coverage of venture capital during that time, in daily articles and a weekly column called the VC Insider, and then online with his blog SiliconBeat from 2004. Matt was awarded Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists in 2002, and the James Madison Freedom of Information award in 2003. These awards were for a series of articles he wrote in conjunction with two successful Mercury News lawsuits, in part instigated by Matt, against California’s public pension fund (CalPERS) and the University of California. As a result of these laws suits, public employees now have full access to information on the performance of their retirement investments.
Matt’s power in the tech community was underlined when in March 2009 he replaced Chris Shipley as executive producer of DEMO, the leading conference for technology companies launching products. His knowledge just grows and grows which he always uses to improve the site. It is a cliché that no news website should sit still but VentureBeat never seems to pause for a breath. Recently VentureBeat neatly added sections called MobileBeat, GreenBeat, GamesBeat and MediaBeat.
If you specifically want to read about innovation at the convergence of money and technology then this site has absolutely nailed it in a way that only a Californian entrepreneur can.

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