Venture Capital Network Mapping
I came across a product called LinkSViewer from a company called GroupScope. It is a visual network analysis tool that explores relationships between management teams, outside board members, investors, and companies. It is the first application of the GroupScope network analysis engine (the result of research at Cornell University and the current work of the company).
LinkSViewer is made possible thanks to Link Silicon Valley, who developed the database used for the network engine. LinkSViewer turns data into network maps that are easy to read and learn from. What you will discover are indirect relationships that may not be readily apparent without a network perspective. Using LinkSViewer, people can search, filter, summarize, email, and navigate any map to suit their needs.
These examples assume a case study format that explores the networks in depth based upon on the results of initial map views. A specific format is followed: (1) Map Title; (2) Map Specs (for replication purposes); (3) Initial Observations (at-a-glance key points); (4) map presentation (plus the appropriate map legend); and (4) discussion highlighting main points/conclusions and next steps. In the end the company offers a summary that highlights the main points from the analysis.
Disclaimer: GroupScope does not claim to know much about venture capital and the Silicon Valley. They are network analysts who try to ascertain key network structures from bipartite and tripartite maps. There is a science behind all of this, but they are more interested in enlightening the world about the power of networks. The goal is to simplify the analysis process visually and ultimately to help people understand their networks and hopefully network more effectively.
Here are three examples of the company’s work:
Apple and Google. What happens when Eric Schmidt joins the board of Apple? Apple and Google.doc
Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, and Intel. What are the links between these three kingmakers? Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, and Intel.doc
“Gods of venture capital” and “Church of Guy”. (I didn’t name this!) How does my network compare to the gods’? Gods of venture capitalist & Church of Guy.doc
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t quite know what to make of this, but it is cool. One more cool thing: I posted this blog entry while in a Lufthansa plane flying from Frankfurt to Mumbai. I have never had Internet access while flying before.
Here’s another way to look at things: The Web VC Chart.