Having made her name on a cover story about Digg's Kevin Rose and a $60 million fortune he has yet to make, tech columnist Sarah Lacy has paused to sniff dismissively at (questionably accurate) reports that Twitter has raised $20 million in venture capital. Lacy has a point: It should not surprise anyone that Twitter is raising venture capital; there are few obvious companies which can use the money, and Twitter, whose microblogging service is growing in popularity but not, measurably, in revenues, is one of them.
But her dismissive tone strikes me as disingenuous. Had Lacy landed an exclusive with Twitter cofounder Evan Williams on the financing, wouldn't we be reading a breathless analysis in BusinessWeek on how microblogging is the next big thing? Perhaps there's something else going on here: Lacy was much abused by Twitter users during a poorly received keynote at the SXSW conference. Can one blame her if she's now shooting the messenger?
As a bonus, the 100-word version of Lacy's post:
Twitter has raised between $15 m and $20 m according to CNET. Scrambling around trying to get the scoop. I haven't. Twitter raising a fat round of venture capital is in no way surprising. As I've reported, anyone who has a good Web business is bulking up on cash. If you read between the lines Evan Williams has essentially previewed this deal. Anyone even bringing up the lack of business model has no basic understanding of how Silicon Valley works right now. As is written about to death in my book. At any price, a stake in Twitter — not to mention a chance to cozy up to a true Web visionary in Evan Williams — is a steal. I've wasted a long post telling you why.
(Photo by Geoff Ellis)